Monday 23 October 2017

Cowen went golfing and officials dithered as country burned in 2008

Memos reveal compelling proof that Lenihan and Cowen were woefully inept and negligent in minding the economy

Furlough: Brian Cowen golfing in Connemara in Summer 2008
Furlough: Brian Cowen golfing in Connemara in Summer 2008
The Sunday Independent front page headline in 2008
Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

In May 2008, Brian Cowen surprised many people by appointing Brian Lenihan as his Finance Minister. As we know, the rookie Taoiseach and Finance Minister endured a torrid time in office right from the off.

Forced to introduce almost €25bn in austerity in less than three years, bail out a bust banking system and ultimately booted out of office for their trouble, what really was going through their minds as the economy sank?

Normally hidden for 30 years, top secret confidential memos brought by Lenihan to government in the run-up to the emergency Budget in October 2008, today published by the Sunday Independent, reveal the extent to which Cowen's government was asleep at the wheel.

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