'Long road ahead for Brian Cowen, but there is a road' - former Taoiseach making 'slow progress'
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen is making progress as he continues to undergo treatment in hospital for a serious illness, according to his brother.
Barry Cowen, the Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, was speaking as he paid tribute to golfer Shane Lowry whose victory in The Open at Royal Portrush on Sunday was watched and celebrated in his brother's hospital room.
The Cowens and the Lowrys both hail from the town of Clara in Co Offaly.
Mr Cowen (59) has been in a Dublin hospital since early July where he is receiving treatment.
"Yesterday and the weekend has given us all a great lift because it was a fantastic achievement and we share in that the same as any other member of the community or the town does," Barry told RTÉ's 'Liveline'.
"The golf was on in the room, no one no more than himself [Brian Cowen] would love to be there.
"I was there with him myself 10 years ago in Baltray," Mr Cowen added in reference to Lowry's Irish Open victory a decade ago.
Commenting for the first time publicly on his brother's condition since the former Fianna Fáil leader was hospitalised earlier this month, Mr Cowen said: "Progress is slow, but it's progress nonetheless.
"There might be a long road ahead, but there's a road ahead and we're delighted that that's the case."
He said the Cowen family was "greatly encouraged and most thankful for all the messages of goodwill" that had come from across the country.