Thursday 8 December 2016

Gene Kerrigan: He looked like he'd lost a huge weight off his back

No more ducking and diving -- just being Taoiseach for seven weeks, and even Brian Cowen can manage that, writes Gene Kerrigan

Published 23/01/2011 | 05:00

HE looked relieved. No more ducking and diving, no more wondering who was plotting behind his back and denying it to his face. From now on, all he has to do is be Taoiseach. He looked like a man who had decided to put down a weight that was doing his back in.

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If there was tension in the room at the Merrion Hotel it was among the TV reporters trying to get their face time, and the others who had to ask very important questions about nothing in particular. When a young reporter tried to get argumentative over something that didn't matter very much, Brian Cowen put him down gently. We all have to respect each other, he said.

Gone was the shrill man fighting for his political life. Here was the new Cowen persona -- Mr Reasonable, making a considered decision in the best interests of "the party". And, since people are sick to their back teeth of the party, references to the party now tend to be quickly followed by the explanations that the party always acts in what it believes are the best interests of the country.

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