Tag Archives: Fianna Fail


Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

New Fianna Fáil Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Dara Calleary arrives for a cabinet meeting.

He loves it when a plan comes together.

Fianna Fáil branch says Martin ‘welcome’ in Mayo again after Dara Calleary appointment (Irish Examiner)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

 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


Now not a good time?

Maybe later so.

This afternoon.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

Embattled, coffee-chugging Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Barry Cowen arrives for government cabinet meeting alongside chief whip Dara Calleary.

Thomas Byrne legging it across courtyard (out of shot).

Earlier: Cobble Wobble

It Wasn’t Me

Derek Mooney: It’s Not Just Loyalty – It Is Loyality

Previously: No Turning Back


Thomas Byrne, Fianna Fáil TD and Minister of State for European Affairs

This evening.

Amid public silence from his party, Ken McFadden, the Meath Fianna Fáil activist who named his friend Thomas Byrne as the source of the Barry Cowen drink drive leak, has tweeted his thoughts.

Mr McFadden writes:

‘I want to say a HUGE Thank You to all of the hundreds of people who have been in contact with support and to tell me they believe me 100%. I’m still getting through the messages, and they have come from every political party and none.

Today I did a number of media interviews and working on a few more over the weekend, the support has been overwhelming.

I also want to say it was not an easy decision to take to go public on the issue of the leak and who leaked it, I have had praise for being “brave” and others with abuse, I “betrayed” a “friend”.

I remain steadfast the information I put out on Wednesday night was the truth and I can live with the abuse from a certain few and even the two individuals (one from Slane and the one from Duleek ) who are being fed misinformation and worse by a person known to me but no longer a friend,

The more of this abuse I get the more interviews and tweets I will do, so let’s just see.

The allegations I am a man with a grudge who is angry I didn’t get a ministerial driver’s job are not true. I was unhappy I did not get the job having been asked by Thomas Byrne at least three times would I do it.

I was unhappy the way that information was given or in this case not given to me and when I eventually caught up with Thomas I felt the way it was handled by him was very grubby, so I was unhappy YES.

Does that mean I turned into a Looney Tune and decided to lie about a very serious matter like the Cowen leak? NO, it is a ridiculous allegation and it is something Trump would do with anyone telling a truth he didn’t want to hear,

I spent a decade or so trying to help/support and win elections for Thomas Byrne and I walked many a road with him and for him in all sorts of weather and conditions.

We had good elections, we were abused in some , we were welcomed in others, we met the best of people at the doors and out canvassing for with us, it was incredible.

I have made life long friendships out of Fianna Fáil and politics and  I wouldn’t give back a day, so please know I’ve been there through thick and thin.

To suggest I suddenly turned on someone over a job is just an excuse for someone who must look at their own behaviour in recent times and must be honest with themselves, I can’t do that for them.

They literally pulled the ladder up behind them as soon as they got news they were in as a minister and I to this day do not know why, I think a quick ring around the elected councillors in Meath will back up the picture I’m painting here.

I love politics and I love the Fianna Fáil party. I will always support FF and always vote FF no matter what.

Finally, I just want to say I’m sorry my actions on this issue have caused stress and hurt to the people around Thomas Byrne and especially his family who I know very well and who are people I have a huge regard for and are not part of this issue.

I say again the allegations I made on Wednesday are true and I will defend them anywhere.’

Ken McFadden

Mr Byrne has yet to respond.

Earlier: Slow Byrne

Previously: Well Now

Wednesday: Who Spilled?


This morning.

Two days after a Meath Fianna Fáil activist accused his local TD Thomas Byrne (top) of disclosing fellow cabinet member Barry Cowen’s 2016 drink driving conviction to the press…

Alan R writes:

You have to hand it to Fianna Fáil. Thomas Byrne has been trending on Twitter for the past 36 hours and there is a complete mainstream lockdown on the story here. Quite an achievement in media control and bodes well for the party containing more serious cover ups to come….


Yesterday: Well Now

Wednesday: Who Spilled?


From top: Thomas Byrne on The Tonight Show; Tweet from Meath Fianna Fáil member Ken McFadden following the show

Last night.

On The Tonight Show on VMT.

Asked if there’s a witchunt in Fianna Fáil to find the person who revealed Barry Cowen’s drink driving conviction, Thomas Byrne told host Matt Cooper:

I doubt very much that anyone in Fianna Fáil had the information that is described in the newspapers in relation to that.”

Asked if it would have happened at a local level, he said:

“I’m not familiar with what’s going on in Offaly but certainly that is not a concern of mine.”

Watch back here.



Taoiseach Micheál Martin (right) with Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne in government buildings last week

This morning.

Last night: Who Spilled?


The Taoiseach’s office has been forced to apologise to Northern Ireland’s First Minister after just 10 days in office.

The apology came after a government source had “over zealously” briefed a media outlet that the first meeting between Micheál Martin as Taoiseach, First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill was to take place today, despite no meeting being organised

Micheál Martin’s office has to apologise to Arlene Foster for ‘cock-up’ (Irish Examiner)


All in all, a sure-footed start from Fianna Fáil.



Meath Fianna Fáil activist Ken McFadden alleges dirty tricks from Meath Fianna Fáil TD and new Minister of State for European Affairs. Thomas Byrne (top) , who has yet to respond.



Thursday morning update here.


Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen addressed the Dail last night on the issue of his drink driving charge from 2016

This morning.

Via The Offaly Express:

Cllr Eamon Dooley, who was sitting on [Offaly County] council when Barry Cowen was first co-opted to the local authority to replace his brother Brian in 1992, said he had a “fair idea” who informed the Irish Independent about the incident.

He could not confirm that it was a senior member of the Fianna Fail party but said it came “from someone who had a grudge against” the Offaly TD.

I’d say he was Fianna Fail alright but I wouldn’t say he was a TD. I’d say he was never an elected member of anything. That’s only my opinion, for what it’s worth.”

Cllr Dooley expects the controversy to die down, even though “some fellows” keep seeking new ways to maintain it….

“It’ll eventually run out of steam. If every fellow who was appointed held up his hand and said ‘I had two pints and I drove home’, I’d say we’d have very few ministers.”

Fianna Fail member with ‘grudge’ blamed for Barry Cowen leak (Offally Express)

Barry Cowen apologises in Dáil for drink driving incident that was a ‘stupid, stupid mistake’ (Independent.ie)




Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Martin, who is also Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and the Gaeltacht, said he has shown remorse after making a “serious mistake”.

However, Ms Martin said that the one issue that was not addressed was why Mr Cowen was driving on a provisional licence and she said he may have to reach out to road safety campaigners and explain that himself.

Taoiseach accepts Cowen’s remorse ‘is genuine (RTÉ)


Barry Cowen at the wheel in 2016

This morning.

Following a televised apology at the weekend when it it was revealed that Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen was banned from driving after being caught over the limit in September 2016….

Via Independent.ie:.

It has emerged that Mr Cowen, then a Fianna Fáil TD, also appeared before Dublin District Court in June 2016 on a speeding charge. He was fined €200 for breaking the special 60kmh limit at Palmerstown in Dublin in July 2015.

The minister will make a statement in the Dáil on the drink-drive matter this evening as the Government seeks to end to the controversy.

He’s in so much trouble.

Barry Cowen fined for speeding as learner before drink driving ban (Independent.ie)

Yesterday: Mea Gulpa

Saturday: What The L Were You Thinking?


Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics

“I’m in public life, I have to accept responsibility for my actions. It was a serious lack of and lapse of judgement.

Mr Cowen said that, while he wasn’t driving unaccompanied on that occasion, he had done so previously while on the provisional driving licence.

The Laois-Offaly TD said he was “humiliated” and “embarrassed” by the incident but had to “accept the punishment that has been given”.

Mr Cowen said in hindsight he “maybe” should have told Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the time, about the disqualification.


Barry Cowen says drink-driving after All-Ireland was ‘terribly stupid mistake’ (Irish Times)

Saturday: What The L Were You hHinking?