Sunday 18 February 2018

Medb Ruane: People knew in their minds and bones and pay dockets that Cowen was promoting party before people

Brian Cowen finally achieved the impossible. The man with lower ratings than a prize-winning limbo dancer gave the nation exactly what it wants. On Thursday, he delivered Ireland from the purgatory into which he'd helped plunge it, when he called a General Election for Friday, March 11.

Happy days? Cowen's announcement didn't signal a Damascus-like conversion to a different leadership style. It was born of chaos, delivered with confusion and arrived long past its best-before date. More than two years have passed since the panic of the bank guarantee, followed by endless, unprecedented nightmares from NAMA to the IMF.

More wealth was transferred from the State to the banking sector than there were citizens alive to pay. The people weren't consulted on the grounds that he knew best. Thousands have had to leave their homeland and sadly watch its status dwindle in the rest of the world. Those who stayed have endured more anxiety and fear than is reasonable, even in these times.

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