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Was Cowen influenced by bar pals?

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen's fondness for a drink was hardly a secret. In fact, it made international headlines after the so-called 'garglegate' radio interview which led to questions being raised about whether he was under the influence when he spoke on Morning Ireland.

And it's hardly news that others close to him politically were jokingly referred to as the 'Drinks Cabinet'.

Not so well known was that some of his own colleagues in Fianna Fail were deeply concerned that Mr Cowen was being overly influenced by his drinking buddies in the Dail.

Former minister John McGuinness believed that the parliamentary party became sidelined on a lot of the big issues by the bar cabal around the then Taoiseach.

It's worth remembering that a couple of months after 'garglegate', this country's economic plight had been allowed deteriorate to the point the IMF had to rescue us.

Now that's a sobering thought.