Hurt, shame and despair
Published 22/01/2011 | 05:00
BRIAN Cowen has become a lightning rod for the hurt, shame and despair that haunts Ireland these days, but it was always foolish of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party to blame him for a crisis that has as much to do with the culture of Fianna Fail as it does with the boss they elected unanimously in 2008.
No leader of Fianna Fail has retired without being mired in controversy since Jack Lynch in 1979, and even the late Mr Lynch's second, brief period in office was mired in a collapse in party discipline and an economic crisis entirely of Mr Lynch's own making.
One has to think back to Sean Lemass, who resigned 45 years ago, for a Fianna Fail leader who left office without any whiff of scandal or tainted by economic mismanagement.