Tuesday 16 January 2018

Cowen portrait yet to get go-ahead

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen. Picture: Mark Condren
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen. Picture: Mark Condren

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Enda Kenny has come under fire from the family of Brian Cowen after it emerged that his department has yet to give the go-ahead for an official portrait of the former Taoiseach.

A spokesman for Mr Kenny has confirmed that a portrait of Mr Cowen has not yet been commissioned -- three years after he left office.

This means that Mr Cowen is the only ex-Taoiseach who does not have an official portrait displayed in Leinster House.

It's understood that Mr Cowen is also keen to have a portrait commissioned; however, Mr Kenny's department has yet to grant approval.

Mr Cowen's brother, Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen, said he expected the same rules applied to other office holders to be extended to his brother.

"I expect that the same protocol will apply to other holders of this esteemed office. That is what is appropriate ... The issue of the portrait, and the fact it hasn't been commissioned, seems to be another attempt at seeking publicity," he told the Irish Independent.

After the Department of An Taoiseach sanctions the portrait, the Office of Public Works will begin the process of selecting an artist.

In a statement last night, a spokesman for Mr Kenny said some portraits were commissioned a number of years after a Taoiseach leaves office.

"In any event, the portrait is not displayed until after the former Taoiseach ceases to be a member of Dail Eireann," he added.

Irish Independent

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