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Brian Cowen

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Brian Cowen
Brian Cowen in June 2010
12th Taoiseach
In office
7 May 2008 – 9 March 2011
PresidentMary McAleese
TánaisteMary Coughlan
Preceded byBertie Ahern
Succeeded byEnda Kenny
Leader of Fianna Fáil
In office
7 May 2008 – 22 January 2011
DeputyMary Coughlan
Preceded byBertie Ahern
Succeeded byMicheál Martin
Other offices
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
19 January 2011 – 9 March 2011
Preceded byMicheál Martin
Succeeded byEamon Gilmore
In office
27 January 2000 – 29 September 2004
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byDavid Andrews
Succeeded byDermot Ahern
Tánaiste
In office
14 June 2007 – 7 May 2008
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byMichael McDowell
Succeeded byMary Coughlan
Deputy leader of Fianna Fáil
In office
28 July 2002 – 7 May 2008
LeaderBertie Ahern
Preceded byMary O'Rourke
Succeeded byMary Coughlan
Minister for Finance
In office
29 September 2004 – 7 May 2008
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byCharlie McCreevy
Succeeded byBrian Lenihan
Minister for Health and Children
In office
26 June 1997 – 27 January 2000
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byMichael Noonan
Succeeded byMicheál Martin
Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications
In office
22 January 1993 – 15 December 1994
TaoiseachAlbert Reynolds
Preceded byCharlie McCreevy
Succeeded byMichael Lowry
Minister for Energy
In office
12 January 1993 – 22 January 1993
TaoiseachAlbert Reynolds
Preceded byAlbert Reynolds
Succeeded byCharlie McCreevy
Minister for Labour
In office
11 February 1992 – 12 January 1993
TaoiseachAlbert Reynolds
Preceded byMichael O'Kennedy
Succeeded byMervyn Taylor
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1984 – February 2011
ConstituencyLaois–Offaly
Personal details
Born (1960-01-10) 10 January 1960 (age 64)
Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyFianna Fáil
Spouse(s)
Mary Molloy
(m. 1994)
Children2
FatherBernard Cowen
RelativesBarry Cowen (brother)
EducationCistercian College, Roscrea
Alma materUniversity College Dublin
Signature

Brian Cowen (born 10 January 1960) was the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland. He became the Taoiseach on 7 May 2008, after Bertie Ahern, resigned after losing a general election on 9 March 2011. He was the leader of a political party called Fianna Fáil.[1] They were in a coalition government with the Green Party and the Progressive Democrats. Independent TDs (Irish members of parliament) also support his government.

During his time as Taoiseach and after leaving office, Cowen was called by multiple media outlets as the worst Taoiseach in the country's history.[2][3]

Taoiseach[change | change source]

Cowen was elected leader of Fianna Fáil in May 2008, after the resignation of Bertie Ahern. Weeks after taking office as Taoiseach, his administration faced the Irish financial and banking crises. He was criticized for his failure to fix the crisis, which led the Irish Government to ask for financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. This was seen in Ireland as a national humiliation.[4]

His leadership subsequently saw public support for Fianna Fáil plunge to record lows, and Cowen set a record for the lowest approval rating in the history of Irish opinion polling, at one point reaching an approval rating of 8 percent. In January 2011, following a failed attempt at a cabinet reshuffle, and facing growing political pressure, Cowen resigned as Leader of Fianna Fáil, but remained as Taoiseach until after the general election.[5][6]

On 14 September 2010, after having an interview on RTÉ's Morning Ireland,[7] Cowen was accused of doing the interview while drunk.[8]

The Sunday Times called Cowen's time as Taoiseach as "a failure".[2] In 2011, the Irish Independent called Cowen the "worst Taoiseach in the history of the State".[3]

Personal life[change | change source]

Brian Cowen was born to a Catholic family,[9] in Tullamore, County Offaly,[10] on 10 January 1960. He was raised in Clara by his parents, May and Bernard Cowen,[11] a Fianna Fáil TD and Senator. He studied law at University College Dublin.

Cowen is married to Mary Molloy and they have two daughters.[12][13]

Health[change | change source]

On 5 July 2019, Cowen was hospitalized after suffering a major brain haemorrhage. He spent five months in a hospital before transferring to a physical rehabilitation facility.[14][15][16][17][18] Cowen returned home in 2021, however was left paralyzed and needed the help of a wheelchair.[19][20]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Cowen 'excited but daunted' by new post". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hawkins, Ed (18 January 2009). "Take control or step aside, Mr. Cowen". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The worst week for the worst Taoiseach in the State's history". The Irish Independent. 23 January 2011. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  4. Ferriter, Diarmaid (3 March 2011). "Recapturing relevance a huge challenge for FF". The Irish Times.
  5. "Cowen resigns as FF leader, remains Taoiseach". RTÉ News. 22 January 2011. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  6. De Bréadún, Deaglán (1 February 2011). "Cowen calls time on his political career after 27 years". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  7. "Morning Ireland radio interview". RTÉ Radio. 14 September 2010. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010.
  8. "Tonight Show host Jay Leno calls Taoiseach Brian Cowen a 'drunken moron'". Belfasttelegraph. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021 – via www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk.
  9. Cowen shows he is 'second an Irishman, first a Catholic' Archived 21 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, The Irish Times, 3 December 2009
  10. "Profile of Brian Cowen". Fianna Fáil website. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2008.Archived from Jan. 2010
  11. Brennan, Michael (10 April 2008). "This is better than Offaly winning the All-Ireland". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  12. "The Cowen Dossier". Offaly Express. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  13. Hand, Lise (10 April 2008). "Cowen feels the hand of history". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  14. Bowers, Shauna. "Brian Cowen 'hopes to walk again' soon after having stroke last July". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  15. McConnell, Daniel (5 July 2019). "Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen taken seriously ill; family at his side". Irish Examiner. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  16. "Leading political figures send best wishes to 'seriously ill' Brian Cowen". Offaly Express. 5 July 2019. Archived from the original on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  17. "Brian Cowen Making Steady Progress". Midlands 103. 19 January 2020. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  18. "'He hopes to walk again' - Brian Cowen still in hospital but making progress after stroke last year". independent. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  19. Des O’Malley has left a great legacy, says Brian Cowen
  20. IN PICTURES: Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen makes public appearance with Sam Maguire for local charity

Other websites[change | change source]