Sunday 24 September 2017

Booze and politics were once intertwined - but we've sobered up

Brian Cowen celebrates with champagne after winning his seat in the Offaly/Laois election count in May 2007 Photo: James Flynn/APX
Brian Cowen celebrates with champagne after winning his seat in the Offaly/Laois election count in May 2007 Photo: James Flynn/APX

Gerard O'Regan

It's a tale almost as old as politics itself - those practitioners of the dark art who along the way have enjoyed a tipple or two. Two books hot off the presses chronicle some liquid moments from the life and times of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, and ex-British cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke.

The Cowen book is a reminder that just as a more politically correct vibe was entering Irish public life, the former Taoiseach decided to give two fingers to those who suggested he should have been more careful of his public image.

He still insists he was entitled to, as they say, have the craic at the end of a long day in the political jungle. This sometimes meant sitting around with some friends from Fianna Fáil and "having a few pints''.

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