FORMER Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen has said Fianna Fáil “is definitely bigger than Micheál Martin” following his dramatic sacking by the Taoiseach.
In a text message sent to party members in his Laois-Offaly constituency on Wednesday Mr Cowen struck a defiant tone, saying he has a right to find out how information about his drink-driving offence entered the public domain.
Mr Cowen was sacked as Agriculture Minister on Tuesday night after he refused a request from the Taoiseach to make a further statement in the Dáil about his drink-driving offence four years ago.
“FF is bigger than me. It’s definitely bigger than [Micheál] Martin. I have apologised for my actions. I made a stupid mistake but I did not do what they have accused me of,” Mr Cowen said in the text message to Fianna Fáil members in his constituency.
“Firstly, I do think I have a right to find out how my records were released and secondly the options I have then to engage in a process to discuss such records with authorities (DPC).”
“We’ll then regroup, deal with issues in our constituency and give leadership and representation to communities. That’s what we do best. These few weeks and yesterday have been difficult but I hope we can find a pathway forward together.”
Offaly Fianna Fáil councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick told Independent.ie that there was “a lot of anger” among members over Mr Martin’s decision to sack Mr Cowen from Cabinet.
“We're very disappointed, we were looking forward to working with the senior minister, we're in a very difficult time here in the constituency with the Just Transition and job losses. It's a bit of a mess really, for everyone.”
Mr Fitzpatrick said he hoped the local organisation could meet with Mr Cowen in the coming days to discuss the future.