Monday 5 December 2016

Spot the next Taoiseach

Gemma O'Doherty

Published 03/05/2008 | 00:00

As a schoolboy, Brian Cowen vowed that he would never become a politician. The son of a TD, he watched the profession consume his father Ber's life and was determined not to follow in his footsteps.

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But at the age of 12, within weeks of entering the cloistered walls of Tipperary's Mount St Joseph Abbey as a boarder, the mould was cast for the making of a man who would one day hold the highest office in the land.

A breeding ground for young politicians, the Trappist monastery run by the Cistercians in Roscrea has produced a disproportionate number of statesmen through the years, including three consecutive Ministers for Foreign Affairs: Dick Spring, David Andrews and Brian Cowen. The Taoiseach-elect also shared a classroom with Fianna Fail MEP Eoin Ryan.

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