Friday 28 July 2017

James Downey: Time is running out for our hero, Mighty Merkel

SOMETHING got lost on Monday night in the frantic pace of the RTE programme on the collapse of Brian Cowen and Fianna Fail: the build-up to the internal party coup that ultimately overthrew Mr Cowen and replaced him with Micheal Martin.

Maybe that was too much to hope for. That story would have called for at least an hour-long programme to itself. Indeed, it calls for half a dozen books to add to the existing literature on the crash, and no doubt we will see them fairly soon.

In a way, the central figure in the drama was neither Mr Cowen nor Mr Martin but Brian Lenihan. The outline of the finance minister's role is well known: how colleagues urged him to take the challenge, how he hesitated, how he let opportunities pass and how, in the end, he raised his standard too late; and in the ultimate leadership vote, came third to Mr Martin and Eamon O Cuiv.

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