Sunday 21 January 2018

Strife of Brian: The man blamed for all that went wrong actually did all the right things

Cowen was a flawed finance minister and a poor communicator, but he may be one of our greatest leaders, writes Donal Lynch

CAP THAT: The National University of Ireland last week gave Brian Cowen an honorary doctorate. Photo: Gerry Mooney
CAP THAT: The National University of Ireland last week gave Brian Cowen an honorary doctorate. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

In a way, maybe it was a little early for the rehabilitation of Brian Cowen. Americans are just now allowing George W Bush airtime to twinkle and reminisce, but they have Donald Trump as a present-day point of comparison.

Cowen benefits from no such spurious nostalgia.

The occasion of his honorary NUI doctorate at Dublin Castle last week was met with headlines sneering at "Dr Biffo" and referencing claims he'd attempted throw former colleagues "under the bus". His explanations of his role in dealing with the financial crisis were dismissed as a tedious rejig of his Banking Inquiry testimony.

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