Thursday 22 February 2018

Calling time on the Taoiseach's drinking

All over the world they're thinking 'Paddy is back', but is it time for Brian Cowen to give up the grog, asks Declan Lynch

Last February I wrote about the Taoiseach's drinking schedule, what Noel Dempsey would call "the socialisation aspect". I had been struck by a line in a piece by Jody Corcoran, which vividly captured the atmosphere of the Dail bar, and which mentioned that Wednesday night is the Taoiseach's night out -- a ritual which is, perhaps, not unrelated to the fact that there is no need for him to be in the Dail on Thursday. If, indeed, there is ever any need for that.

I marvelled at the determination of this leader of a doomed country to keep to his old routine, ring-fencing the middle of the week as he has always done. And then proceeding to indulge in the normal round of weekend "socialisation" that is his prerogative as an Irishman.

And, mindful of the Taoiseach's determination in these matters, I wondered about last week's schedule -- as he was drinking heavily on Monday night into Tuesday morning, was he looking forward to the few pints as usual on the Wednesday night, then perhaps a brief respite before the traditional challenges of the weekend?

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