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Sunday 18 February 2018

Fianna Fail at odds over Cowen criticism

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Former Fianna Fail ministers Mary Hanafin and Mary O'Rourke came under fire from party colleagues yesterday over their criticism of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was told to review Ms Hanafin's position as a vice-president of the party in the wake of an RTE documentary.

A new documentary, 'Crisis -- Inside the Cowen Government', broadcast on RTE on Monday night, was discussed at a meeting of Fianna Fail TDs and senators yesterday.

A party source said there was a call for Ms Hanafin's position to be reviewed and Ms O'Rourke's contributions were also criticised.

"There was grave disappointment expressed about comments by members of the party. There was a feeling it was giving oxygen to attacks on the party," the source said. "There was a call that she should be talked to and as vice-president it was seen as disloyal."

Sitting Fianna Fail TDs Willie O'Dea and John McGuinness were also critical during the programme, but they seemed to escape the wrath of party colleagues.

During the first part of the documentary, Mr O'Dea and Ms Hanafin expressed serious concerns about the way the decision to introduce a €400bn bank guarantee was taken without a full cabinet discussion.

Ms Hanafin said ministers were told it was the "only option" to protect people's money, which had to be done before the markets opened.

"That decision shouldn't have been taken at a quarter to two in the morning. . . all cabinet members should have been called to Dublin," she added.

Ms O'Rourke was critical of Mr Cowen's drinking and his lack of communication with the public.

Irish Independent

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