Let this chalice pass from me . . .
There is talk of a spring in Brian Cowen's step these days. He's like a new man. He's actually communicating with us; he's out and about; he's prancing around the locker rooms of the Aviva Stadium. He is like a man from whom a great weight has been lifted. The speculation has been that it is because things are starting to look up for the economy, or that Cowen has been listening to his party colleagues and his critics, all of whom felt he needed to get out there and show a bit of leadership. But, actually, that's not what it is.
If Cowen looks like a man from whom a great weight has been lifted, it's because it has been.
For two hellish years Cowen has presided crankily over the virtual collapse of the country. The media, who couldn't wait to get rid of Bertie and get Cowen into the job, got what they wished for, and boy did we all regret it. Sometimes it seemed as if Cowen regretted it more than any of us.