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Cowen drank but we're left with hangover

FIANNA Fail was bracing itself today to deal with the fallout from fresh revelations about Brian Cowen's drinking and the country's downfall.

Micheal Martin's effort to move past the party's disastrous election are to be hampered by the reopening of wounds.

Members of Cowen's Cabinet are set to turn on each other and in particular on their former leader in an explosive new documentary.

Crisis: Inside The Cowen Government pieces together the story of the Government which took the fateful decision to issue a €400bn bank guarantee.

Former FF Ministers say it was wrong that the September 30, 2008, guarantee of bank deposits and debts was decided in the middle of the night.

Brian Cowen's inability to communicate as Taoiseach and his "loyalty to tribalism" within the party is also highlighted.

Mr Cowen favoured those he knew well and were big family names within the party, former minister John McGuinness says.

"We should be ashamed of what happened, because we insulted the people that elected us and the party that was founded by De Valera," Mr McGuinness said.

Former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea and Cabinet colleague Mary Hanafin had serious concerns that the decision on the €400bn bank guarantee was taken without a full Cabinet discussion.

The pair said they were effectively given no alternative after being told there was the possibility "of no money in the ATMs" if it wasn't implemented.

"It was probably the most far reaching decision I ever participated in my five years in Cabinet and I would have liked to have sat around the table to discuss it," said Mr O'Dea.

Crisis: Inside The Cowen Government is on RTE 1 at 9.35pm tonight.

mlavery@herald.ie


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