Saturday 24 March 2018

Cowen grilled over 'chat' with dinner guests after golf

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen faced further questions last night after it emerged he held a "chat about the economy" with banking and economic experts in Druids Glen.

This emerged after a tough Dail questioning session where he repeatedly insisted the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank were not discussed at a golf outing which included Anglo boss Sean FitzPatrick.

However, Sinn Fein Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain, who was attending a wedding in Druids Glen on the same day, said he recalled other people being present at their chance encounter in the hotel bar two years ago.

His direct questioning of Mr Cowen in the Dail revealed that another Anglo Irish Bank director and an economic consultant had attended dinner after the golf outing.

Prior to yesterday's Dail exchanges, the only two individuals known to have been in Druids Glen were Mr FitzPatrick and Fintan Drury, a former director of Anglo Irish Bank who had also organised the golf meeting.

But Mr Cowen confirmed he was later joined by Alan Gray, an economic consultant; Gary McGann, the chief executive of Smurfit Kappa; and his garda driver.

But Mr Cowen did not mention that Mr McGann was a director of Anglo.

"These individuals came for dinner but only three of us were on the golf course," Mr Cowen said.

"Those individuals joined us and we spent the evening there. That was it."

Mr Cowen said Mr McGann and Mr Gray had been invited by Mr Drury. "It was about being able to sit down with people at the end of the day and having a chat about the economy," Mr Cowen said.

Irish Independent

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