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No request made for Cowen portrait

THE department of the Taoiseach has still not requested a portrait of Enda Kenny's predecessor, Brian Cowen.

It is almost three years since Mr Cowen retired from the Dail before the last general election.

The official portraits of 11 of the country's 12 former Taoisigh have been hung on the walls of Leinster House. All are generally commissioned soon after the former taoisighs retire as TDs.

The most recent addition is that of former Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Bertie Ahern which was hung on the walls near the main stairs in the autumn of 2011.

The portrait was commissioned as far back as 2001 during Mr Ahern's second term as Taoiseach and was completed in 2003.

However, no official portrait of the last Fianna Fail Taoiseach has yet been commissioned.


A spokesperson for the department of the Taoiseach said the decision to commission the portrait has not been approved by Taoiseach Enda Kenny's department.

For the process to begin, the department of the Taoiseach must sanction the commissioning of the portrait.

Following that, the Office of Public Works begin the process of selecting an artist and agreeing a fee.

In the case of Bertie Ahern, the then taoiseach was given a choice of three artists. The Dublin TD choose James Hanley and the commission was worth some €12,700.

The total process, including sittings with the former TDs, can take as long as 18 months.