Tuesday 20 February 2018

Are we demonising Cowen for what many do in Irish society?

Drinking is part of our culture and in politics and diplomacy we are surrounded by alcohol, writes Eamon Delaney

AFTER the fallout from last week, the question is surely not just is Brian Cowen fit to be Taoiseach, but are we just demonising him for doing what so many do in Irish society. After all, look at the wider use of alcohol in our culture, from the legal world to diplomacy to politics and business.

I have written before about the amount of drinking in the world of diplomacy. The occupation used to be known as 'dining for Ireland' but it might be also known as 'drinking for Ireland'. And, let's be honest, it had a good effect, compared to the more boring style diplomacy of other countries.

Former Unionist MP John Taylor used to complain that the nationalist side in Northern Ireland got a better press because the foreign journalists were all down the pub with the SDLP, republicans or Irish government representatives, while the unionist community could only offer tea and scones.

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