Tag Archives: Brian Cowen

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen

Midlands 103FM report:

The former Taoiseach Brian Cowen is seriously ill this afternoon.

He was rushed to hospital last night with a suspected bleed on the brain and remains at the Beacon in South Dublin.

The 59-year-old was treated for fluid on a lung in April, having become unwell at a golf event.

Former Taoiseach seriously ill (Midlands 103FM)

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen seriously ill in hospital (Offaly Express)

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

At Cheltenham…

Irish Times journalist Simon Carswell tweetz:

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, property developer Mick Bailey and film director Jim Sheridan among [property developer Seán] Mulryan’s party for City Island’s win in the winners’ enclosure at #Cheltenham – ‘We had a few pound there, we had a few pound there,’ Cowen told me

Further to this…

Virgin Media One journalist Gavan Reilly tweetz:

The early 2000s called: they want their property-developers-meeting-government-ministers-at-race-meetings back.

Ballymore useless more like, amirite.

Tonight.

Croke Park.

Former taoisigh Bertie Ahern, John Bruton and Brian Cowen during the World Meeting of Families concert.

Meanwhile…

Leave them alone.

They were only obeying orders.

Pic; Hetty/Hulton

Jaysus.

This afternoon.

The Dublin Wax Museum

The Mansion House, Dublin 2.

Former taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen at a conference covering the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and its future under Brexit.

The half-day conference, compered by Olivia O’Leary, focused on the role the Northern Ireland peace settlement has so far played in the Brexit negotiations.

It’s not a caption competition unless you insist.

Any excuse

Rollingnews

Saturday: That Seemed To Go Well

Update:

Former Taoiseach John Bruton (left) joins the chat.

Cosy.

Rollingnews

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Hmmmm.

Watch the banking inquiry live here

Read Fintan Drury’s evidence in full here

Read Brian Cowen’s evidence as Taoiseach here and as Finance Minister here

Previously: ‘At No Point Was There Any Discussion Whatsoever About Anglo’

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Former non-executive director at Anglo Irish Bank Fintan Drury arriving at the Banking Inquiry this morning

You’ may recall yesterday’s post containing the bulk of former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm’s statement to the Banking Inquiry.

It came ahead of former non-executive director at Anglo Fintan Drury’s appearance at the inquiry this morning. Alan Dukes and Mike Aynsley are also scheduled to appear today before the inquiry takes a break for the summer.

In his statement, Mr Drumm claimed Mr Drury acted as an intermediary between Anglo Irish Bank and Brian Cowen.

Mr Drumm also claimed, “In April 2008 the Board of AIBC held a private dinner with Mr. Brian Cowen, TD, then the Minister for Finance and Taoiseach elect. I sat next to the Minister and it was the first opportunity I’d had to speak with him privately. We discussed the difficulties in the financial markets at that time” contradicting what Mr Cowen told the Banking Inquiry recently.

Mr Drury’s appearance was to begin at 9.30am this morning but it has been delayed.

Mr Drury, a college friend of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen and whose corporate communications consultancy company Drury Communications advised Anglo, was a non-executive director at Anglo Irish Bank from 2002 until 2008.

He founded Drury Communications in 1988 and retired from it in 1999.

Mr Drury was also on Anglo’s Risk and Compliance Committee

He was also an RTÉ reporter in the 1980s and presented Morning Ireland. He was chairman of the RTÉ Authority from mid-2005 until his resignation in January 2007.

Ciaran Hancock, of the Irish Times, spoke with Keelin Shanley this morning in light of the delay in this morning’s proceedings.

Ciaran Hancock: “When I was last with you [at 10am] they [the inquiry’s committee] were considering whether or not to publish the witness statement belong to David Drumm, they’ve had that meeting and they’ve decided to suspend publication pending further dialogue with the Director of Public Prosecutions so they’ve basically shelved the matter, if you like, for now. And then in relation to Fintan Drury, he was originally supposed to have appeared at half past nine, that didn’t happen, there were some delays, private meetings about the Drumm situation. He was then to appear at 11am and then we were told it was going to be 11.30am. He still hasn’t appeared. The committee is going to convene again, at around about midday and they’re going to consider, apparently Mr Drury has indicated that he wants to introduce new evidence to the inquiry today. So the inquiry’s legal team has had to consider this. They’ve been consulting with Mr Drumm, they’re going to be considering with the committee members now shortly. And it’s a question of whether this evidence can be introduced or not and whether it actually falls within the terms of reference of the inquiry.”

Keelin Shanley: “So new evidence from Mr Drury and a decision to abide by the DPP’s ruling on the evidence of Mr Drumm. In relation to Mr Drumm’s evidence is that the last, or statement rather than evidence, is that the last that we will hear of it at this point? Do you believe?”

Hancock: “No, I don’t think so. I mean they’ve been very careful about their language. They say they have suspended publication, so they haven’t definitely ruled out publishing David Drumm’s witness statement at some point. But they’ve suspended publication and they’re going to have, they’re going to seek further clarifications from the DPP in relation to this. Now, you know, people might wonder at this stage, given that there’s been so many leaks of the Drumm statement and if you look hard enough on the web you’ll actually find the whole thing. What the problem is in relation to this, but anyway the DPP has taken a very strong line, the DPP doesn’t want the witness statement published. Some banking inquiry members feel it shouldn’t be, or at least, some of it should be maybe some parts should be redacted but, they’ve decided to seek further clarification from the DPP as to whether or not they can publish at least some of it.”

Later

Hancock: “There’s also, apparently, there’s words that Fintan Drury is due to take a flight somewhere later on today so a question mark over exactly how much time he has or whether the committee will facilitate him to take that flight or will they want him to give that evidence regardless of whatever arrangements he’s made for later in the day.”

Listen back in full here

Bank inquiry to further suspend publication of Drumm statement (RTE)

Previously: David Drumm: My Version

Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

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Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the Banking Inquiry this morning

The timeline to the bank guarantee.

According to Brian:

“Standards and Poor, the credit rating agency, gave an unfavourable rating for Ireland in August 2010 when Irish bond yields, Irish Government bond yields increased sharply. At the end of September 2010, the Government announced its intention to withdraw from the markets as a tactical move since we were fully funded until mid-2011.

At the end of September, higher costs of the bank when the recapitalisation programme were announced. Mid-October, Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy declared that a new permanent Europe-area financial rescue fund was to be set up by 2013 and would require private sector creditors to accept some debt restructuring.

This statement was known as the Deauville Declaration. It was clarified afterwards that the debt-restructuring provision would only apply to new debt after 2013. The original statement had caused further market jitters and the damage was done and bond yields jumped further.

We’d indicated in September 2010 that the EU Commission and the ECB that we were preparing a four-year national recovery plan to be published in November, prior to the Budget which would show that we were committed to an adjustment programme and that we’d bring the Budget deficit down below 3% by 2014.

On the fourth of October, Minister Lenihan received a letter from the ECB president expressing concern about the situation of Irish banks.

On the 8th of November, the EU Commissioner Ollie Rehn visited Dublin and on the 11th of November the bond yield rose to 8.6%. And Governor Honohan suggested that bond yields would fall to more sustainable levels if the planned fiscal adjustment was implemented.

On the 12th of November, the ECB governing council decided that it could not sustain its large exposure to Irish banks. On the same day, ECB/EU sources commenced off-the-record media briefings, leading to reports that Ireland would need a bailout and discussions were underway.”

On the 13th of November, there were internal discussions with myself and Minister Lenihan and key officials.

We were clear that if discussions were to take place, it would be, if you like, talks about talks, in other words, we made no commitment at that point of formerly applying for assistance until we were satisfied of what the authorities had in mind and the conditionality attached to it.

The off-the-record briefings were clearly trying to play the situation where a formal Irish approach for assistance was being portrayed as a fait accompli by those informed sources without prior agreement and conditionality. This was unacceptable to us.

We were not against exploring the issues with the EU authorities but neither should they presume or anticipate what decision the Irish Government would make. We wanted to know what they had in mind before we would indicate what decision we would be able to take. We were looking to explore what possibilities there were before giving our considered view.

At the Cabinet meeting on the 16th of November, the Cabinet was brought up to date about the situation that was developing. I did not like the continuous anonymous briefing against Ireland, which I saw as an attempt to bounce us into a decision before we got further clarification.

At the end of a meeting in Brussels on a Tuesday of that week was a conclusion, the council’s published conclusion that an EU delegation with IMF staff joined them for the first time would travel to Dublin to continue consultations. I underestimated the impact of the IMF coming to town however which immediately sent a message that this was now a done deal rather than a genuine continuation of existing discussions up to that.”

This perception was further reinforced when the Central Bank governor gave an interview on RTE from Frankfurt on the morning of the meeting in Dublin by saying that, while it was a matter for the Government in the first instance, he said he believed a deal would be done and a loan would be agreed.

This development showed the Government in a bad light because the interpretation given to events that we were keeping what was going on away from people. In fact, we were trying to put ourselves in the best position we could before any questions of formally requesting assistance.

We wanted to know exactly what we were getting before we agreed to formally apply for a programme. On the 19th of November, the ECB president, Mr Trichet sent a letter to Minister Lenihan threatening withdrawal of ECB funds in the absence of a formal bailout request.

This was not well received by us. We knew that providing a fiscal framework, under the EU/IMF programme gave us access to funds at a cost cheaper than was available on the markets at that time and into the future. It would provide, in that respect, funding certainty over a three-year period that therefore gave a better prospect to implement the plan we announced, we were announcing.”

We knew that it would be difficult but the plan was robust and rigorous and we were confident that the growth prospects in it were achievable and could complete the journey begun in 2008, to try and turn the country around. We had a Government meeting on Sunday, the 21st of November and made the decision to formally request EU/IMF assistance.

Based on the progress that had been made in Dublin we decided to formally enter talks. Efforts had been made from time to time to put our corporation tax rate on the agenda, which we refused to countenance.

We were adamant that our own four-year national recovery plan which was approved by the Government, before its detail was shown to the European authorities, would form the basis of any programme we would agree. We were determined to meet our responsibilities and build on the three budgets we’d already introduced.”

Brian Cowen at the banking inquiry this morning.

The Department of Finance discussed methods of addressing financial difficulties at Anglo Irish Bank on the same day in 2008 that then minister for finance Brian Cowen met Anglo officials at a social function.

Mr Cowen was copied into emails from departmental officials hours before he attended a board dinner at the bank’s headquarters at St Stephen’s Green on April 28th, 2008.

Brian Cowen got Anglo email same day as social event (Irish Times)

90385825
90385829
90385833
90385835

This morning.

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen arrives at the Banking Inquiry at Leinster House, Dublin.

Mr Cowen will be questioned about his time as Finance Minister from 2004-2008.

More as we get it.

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

Update:

cowenhearing

“I am sorry for the hardship and stress caused to many people.”

Brian Cowen this morning

Watch proceedings live here