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Editorial: Taoiseach's days are numbered

IT doesn't matter what excuses are rolled out by the Fianna Fail faithful, it is quite clear that Brian Cowen's days as Taoiseach are numbered.

His decision to do an early morning interview just five and a half hours after he left the bar in Galway following the party's think-in showed poor judgment, and will no doubt prove to have been a fatal error.

It beggars belief that people had to listen to this shambolic performance on RTE radio while driving to work with the pressures of debt and already-high taxes weighing heavily on their minds, or indeed, that it was listened to by those sitting in their kitchens with no job to go to and children to support.

It was the interview everyone wanted to tune in to, the leader of our nation speaking on national radio following a 'think-in' and what the 450,000 or so listeners wanted to hear was what sort of budget we were facing, how we were to deal with it: What of the future?

Instead we were given rambling, shambolic, barely intelligible doublespeak. Many would have been within their rights to say, 'He had better have been hungover, because otherwise we are in serious trouble.'

What's worse, however, is that it has become an international spectacle, at a time when we are trying to reassure investors that Ireland is getting itself back on track.

What ever way one chooses to view this farce, it is nothing short of embarrassing that our Taoiseach should be questioned at all on whether he was drunk or hungover.

His decision to enjoy the craic in the bar and then do an interview just hours later smacks of arrogance, and has cast a shadow over the think-in.

We need a leader right now, and we have all been let down and shown up by this debacle.