‘Surprised And Disappointed’


 Top: Micheál Martin and Barry Cowen at Leinster House in 2016; The Taoiseach announces Mr Cowen’s removal this evening


Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen tweeted the following, after it emerged that his party leader Taoiseach Micheál Martin had sacked him from his role as the Minister for Agriculture:

“The Taoiseach informed me this evening by phone that he was removing me from office as Minister for Agriculture. I am both surprised and disappointed with this decision.

“Previously I furnished the Taoiseach with all the facts about my drink driving conviction and the story that the Sunday Times proposed to publish about my alleged evasion of a Garda check point. In doing so I provided him with confidential details about my interaction with An Garda Siochana.

“I have made my position on these matters known publicly and I have acknowledged my wrong doing for something that occurred 4 years ago.

“I have sought an explanation – not as a government minister but as a citizen – as to how details relating to the incident were leaked to the media. The authorities have agreed to investigate the matter.

“One point warrants emphasis: at no time did I attempt to evade the Gardaí. Had I done so, the charges brought against me would, quite correctly, have been of a different tenor to those with which I was charged.

“I am responsible for the offence with which I was convicted 4 years ago not for an inaccurate Garda entry on Pulse about that event. Ten days ago and this afternoon the Taoiseach believed my failure of 2016 didn’t warrant my removal from office but he now appears to have changed his mind based on a Pulse report I gave him this morning.

“It is important to re-emphasise that report was leaked in contravention of the protections that I and every other citizen is entitled to expect in respect of their interaction with the Gardaí.

“Unfortunately the decision of the Taoiseach to remove me from office, when he supported me this afternoon in the Dail, has undermined and potentially prejudiced my entitlement to fair process.”





Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil that Agriculture Minister and Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has been sacked.

Mr Martin told the Dáil:

“This is a very sad day for Barry, for his family and for me. He has been a very committed representative, very diligent and very dedicated. Over the course of the last 10 days he’s been the subject of very significant criticism and condemnation for a road traffic offence that took place in 2016. He has been completely clear and unambiguous regarding his drink-driving offence. He gave a personal statement to this House on July 7 in which he talked about the stupidity of his actions. He accepted what he did was absolutely wrong and he apologised to all members.”


Earlier: ‘I’ve Seen The [Arrest Record]…It’s Not Quite As Portrayed’

Previously: Who Spilled? [Updated]

It Wasn’t Me


65 thoughts on “‘Surprised And Disappointed’

  1. GiggidyGoo

    Bye bye Barry. So much for the bluster.
    Michilín had led for a change. Fair dues.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Led? Playing catch up for his original bad decision, more like. Look, he’s had his Taoiseach plate made, now he should do the decent thing and fork off back to obscurity. He’s incapable of leadership.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        It’s the first difficult decision he has had as taoiseach. He hadn’t much choice as the other party leaders would have also known the contents, and it was too chancy to leave Cowen in place. He could have accepted a resignation, but I’m sure he was told by his bosses, Ryan and BOGOF Varadkar that it has to be a firing.
        This is going to be a roller coaster government, and can’t lady.

      2. Jockey

        2 questions came to mind –

        Can he sue for unfair dismissal?

        Does he get Minister’s pension?

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          I’m sure he can… but would he want to?

          I think he has to be Minister for longer than a couple of weeks to qualify.

        2. Rob_G

          What aspect of his dismissal would you consider to be unfair?

          (you need to be in a job for 12 months before many of the employment legislation applies, anyhow)

          1. Rob_G

            You support a party that supports Garda murderers, and now you are politicising the deaths of Garda and another man who died protecting the public for political point-scoring – you are morally-bankrupt, and a despicable hypocrite.

          2. bisted

            …here Bog_R…do you accept any responsibility for the demise of comely Cowen after you gave him the kiss of death yesterday…as our friend Charger might say – handsome is as handsome does…

          3. Johnny

            Killed Rob,dead by DRUNK DRIVERS,killed Rob,dead….trying find some data points on disabilities caused by DRUNK DRIVING.. FFS all you want talk about his looks…

            ‘Of the 947 people killed in the 867 collisions analysed, alcohol was a contributory factor in:

            38% of all driver deaths.
            30% of all motorcyclist deaths.
            47% of all pedestrian deaths.
            42% of all passenger deaths.
            86% of drivers and 51% of passengers not wearing seatbelt who had consumed alcohol were killed.”


          4. Cian

            Johnny, careful with your stats – these include drunk pedestrians that were killed by sober drivers. 81 of the 84 dead pedestrians where drunk (although 5 of these drunk pedestrians were killed by a drunk driver).

            But your overall point is correct – drunk drivers are killing lots of people.

          5. Johnny

            Oh Rob’s a big picture smear SF type Cian but thank you and agreed they a bit dodgy but very hard find a breakdown,given one Rob’s penchants is handicapped victims of kneecappings from the 1970’s ,there is sadly no breakdown for Rob on this stat regarding drunk drivers,but did you see that file photo Cian-what great looking drunk driver bet he’d rock a good mug shot…maybe sell some T-shirts-DRIVE DRUNK its more fun…

            (unrelated but was that your work with the story and history of Dublin pubs-it was linked here late one evening I was stoned as usual but vaguely remember looking at something someone posted I think it was a “Cian” -could have been a acid flashback but I most certainly was not driving:)

          1. Vanessanelle

            In fairness he’s done well to get this far
            If he’d stayed teaching he’d never have ended up as Principal

            There’s more talent and purpose in my dog’s dewclaw
            A flipflopper

            Zero leadership skills and about as interesting as the tie rack on the Vincent de Paul shop

  2. Daisy Chainsaw

    …Aaaand he’s gone. Not even a month in the job, but I’ll bet he bags a year’s worth of perks. FFFGG is off to a stuttering, spluttering start.

    1. Jonner

      No balls MM was defending BC earlier on. It’s a joke.

      I’d say there’s more scandal about to break and its damage limitation for FF

  3. Otis Blue

    Judging by Cowan’s haunted demeanour these last few days, there’s surely more to this story.

    Fun times ahead.

    1. Joe F

      I don’t know the man personally but he comes across as a very hard to like individual, unlike his brother Brian. Gives off the impression of I do what I want, I’m a big important person. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s the feeling I get.

      1. Rob_G

        I also get that vibe from him.

        Brian Cowen came across as very genuine (if in a little over his head).

    1. Johnny

      ..hes a convicted drunk driver and was fired in disgrace,who quite possibly put the lives of serving Guards at risk with his drunken ‘U-Turn” to evade the checkpoints, i’m just glad no Guards were injured or killed by this drunk driver, bravely doing their jobs-why did he not just call a taxi….no amount pathetic deflection by you changes his disgrace.

        1. Johnny

          File photo game again and your asking me…have you a man crush on drunk drivers,do they turn you on,like a CRASH thing,its so on brand with your weird obsession with kneecappings and murder,the constant deflections with references to his eyes and looks and photos are pitiful,your last refuge is his apperance,desperate.

          He’s a convicted drunk driver who in my opinion defrauded the electorate by not disclosing his criminal record,which only came out upon his promotion,he would be fired with cause for non disclosure anywhere I worked,Hope the voters don’t views his deceit the same,his boss fired him,gosh I wonder if a drunk driving conviction would affect voting ….I’d say it would !

          At least during his drunk driving escapes they didn’t result in him killing anyone,lucky the guards on duty escaped unharmed that night …. I’ve often heard it’s never the first time they drive drunk these criminals,only stop when arrested like here…

          He should resign his seat he defrauded his party,his boss and his clients – the voters !

          1. Rob_G

            Well, MM has has dismissed him from his post as minister, so thankfully the Taoiseach has done the right thing (eventually).

            Have Sinn Féin dismissed Pat Buckley from his position as spokesperson on mental health since his arrest for drunk driving on a learner permit, with his threatening behaviour to Gardaí as a chaser?

          2. GiggidyGoo

            Michilín had no choice, after reading the garda report. Cowen was trying to hide some fact (s) or other up until then. He was given the option to resign. He didn’t, so his position wasn’t tenable.
            Of course, at the back of the firing, was Varadkar showing Martin who is boss. You can see it anyway, apart from this. Varadkar gets more advisors, an aide de camp, car and driver for Coveney.
            Martin’s tenure will be short and sweet. FG are playing him like a fiddle. Not only are they doing that, but they have laid the foundations for the demise of FF, and are pouting quick setting cement.

          3. Cian

            It is amazing how your image of Varadkar has transformed in the last three months from being a totally incompetent, bumbling egotist to some sort of Machiavellian super villain.

          4. Johnny

            You appear to be diminishing drunk driving Rob,people are killed and handicapped by drunk drivers Rob-no idea why you want keep talking about his looks.
            I was strolling home one evening with a friend when a drunk driver lost control of his car hitting the couple walking ahead of us-I did not know them.

            The guy and his girlfriend were simply walking home when a drunk driver plowed into them,for you to constantly evoke events from the 1970’s in NI yet you seek diminish the murders and mayhem caused on the roads at night by drunk drivers is ridiculous,drunk driving is a form of terrorism in a bottle.As someone who walks and bikes almost everywhere Im frequently terrified at night by drunk drivers.

            He probably needs go get some alcohol counseling after he resigns his seat,his family has a history of normalizing very heavy alcohol consumption and bad behavior, a culture that celebrates excessive drinking,his judgement appears go out window after a few scoops,now he’s lost his job and brought shame to his family over is drinking and driving its about time he starts the thinking seriously about his drinking …

            After that drunk driver lost control of his cars I never drove with drink, ok ok I always live in center of cities but I really have never driven with drink nor taken a lift from someone who had-i smoke weed bike/walk about.

            Drunk Driving Kills Rob-stop joking and making light of it he needs resign his seat for fraud,he concealed his criminal history from his boss who sacked him and the voters thats fraud….

            I will never understand why he did not simply call a taxi or was he too drunk to think straight,does his decision making go out the window after a rake pints and some whiskey, you will have fight him for those keys- its Mario Time huh!

          5. Rob_G

            All of the positions you are purporting that I hold exist purely in your own head – Cowen was wrong, and was unfit to serve as a minister, and I’m glad that now he won’t.

            I notice that in your lengthy screed you still failed to answer my question: how do you feel that Sinn Féin have addressed the issue of their own drunk-driving, learner permit frontbencher?

          6. Johnny

            Rob-you are simply seeking to deflect and distract from Cowens criminal acts.

            It was his looks, his eyes, that photo…he’s a convicted DRUNK who chose operate a motor vehicle with drink taken-that becomes a deadly weapon, people are KILLED Rob murdered and maimed by drunk drivers today not in 1970 and your cracking awful jokes like a wiseass about his looks…

            I looked online Rob and losing your job or getting sacked and bringing shame to your family is often a sign of a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol ,then all the covering up and all that shame,keeping that secret must have gotten to him, the fear of blackmail must have been overwhelming, its all probably a big load of him, as they say your only as sick as your secrets-and this was one sick secret just glad the Brits didn’t exploit it and him.

  4. Johnny

    Isn’t it ironic that one the many beneficiaries of rampant nepotism in FFG (oul lad Bernard was first elected in 1969) gets doxed by yet another beneficiary of keeping the seats in the FFG familes-is the minister for nepotism planning on making any statements on the leaked pulse reports and ‘inaccuracies’ or is she too busy giving unconstitutional orders to illegally detain international students in solitary at Mountjoy

  5. greenfingered

    Fair play to The Sunday Times for doing a deep dive on the story. Only for the follow up we would have been fobbed off with Cowen’s half assed Dail apology.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Yep, and on Primetime last night, David Soon-to-be-a- Newsteader McCullough was praising Beaker for the Dindo being the paper to ‘break the story’. Two-bit journalists trying to big each other up.

  6. Termagant

    Love this whole “Barry has been absolutely forthright about the incident” angle. 4 years after the fact, after it became public knowledge against his wishes. That Michael had to seemingly be cajoled into taking action does not spark joy. We’re in for a rough few years.

  7. Frank

    New ground been broken here with a sacrifice on the scale of Cowen dynasty layed at the alter of protecting Roderic O’Gorman

    1. Vanessanelle

      Roderic O’Gorman has the potential to be a great Minister
      And IMO
      Is the man to take charge of Direct Provision and change its story

      You’re carrying on like a wounded ould FF soldier there Frank

  8. Mé Féin

    Fianna Fail sleaze. There’s no one less suitable for positions of responsibility.

  9. Joe

    This could be fuse to blow the FFG and Green lapdogs merger apart. I expect the Cowen fraternity to be out with the knives for Mehole Martin, he better watch his back. It openly demonstrates what an inept clown #langerlandtaoiseach Martin is. I expect the Shinners will eviscerate Martin and his government cronies come question time :)

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I think it was that he tried to dodge the Gardaí while pissed up on a Learner Permit.
      Which he vehemently denies, obv.

      I kind of missed these old-school Irish political shenanigans, to be honest. Those FG types were too PR-slick for this rubbish.

  10. Charlie

    I had a strong sense that Cowen is a very arrogant man. An individual who knows him a lot better than you or me confirmed my suspicions. For that reason alone ‘You’re fired!’

  11. theo kretschmar schuldorff

    An unfounded little piece of tin-foil hat speculation:
    • Cowen was driving home from Dublin, most likely on the M6, before leaving the motorway in Westmeath for Offlay.
    • Cowen stopped at checkpoint by a local Traffic Corps
    – (Who’s the Sergeant in charge of the traffic corps in Mullingar in 2016?)
    • Four years pass. Taoiseach MM sees that the arrest sheet was signed off by a Sgt MMcC.
    – Taoiseach not getting into that. Cowen fired.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Could be a basis for a book. The title could be ‘Do you know who I am?’ maybe.
      The route from Croker to Clara would be as you say.

    2. Pip

      The journos must be tearing their hair out over this loss of a story which would run and run.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        They’ll be grand.

        The State will take out numerous ‘Ireland 2040’ ads and pull-outs so that the Media can continue living and the ‘journalists’ can survive. The only thing that doesn’t survive is actual journalism.

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