Lise Hand: Cowen has the power to weather a perfect storm
'We can say when we get to O'Connell Street in 2016 and look up to those men and women of idealism who gave us the chance to be the country we are, yes we didn't fail our children, but most importantly, we didn't fail our country either".
And so the Taoiseach concluded his address to the annual Dublin Chamber of Commerce dinner. He gives scores of speeches -- sometimes several a day -- in the course of his job, but this particular one has taken on a special resonance since last February.
On that occasion, he caught everyone on the hop. What was supposed to be a routine address to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce agm turned into a rare tour-de-force performance from a Taoiseach more known for his lacklustre speeches.