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Taoiseach Brian Cowen Survives To Fight Another Day

Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will continue to lead the Irish Government into its dying days after surviving a plot to oust him prior to the forthcoming General Election, in about three months, possibly March 25.

Rebel Foreign Affairs Minister, Micheál Martin, who led the revolt  against the embattled Fianna Fail leader, will now quit his Cabinet post following his failed and badly thought out, leadership challenge.

Following a three-hour meeting, Mr Cowen survived in the secret ballot as expected and accepted the resignation of his Foreign Affairs Minister. Mr Cowen stated:”It sends a very strong confirmation that there are consequences to the decision and the stand that he took.”

The Taoiseach said he did not expect any further resignations from his Cabinet, although some backbenchers and one junior minister did demand change. Chief Whip, John Curran refused to divulge detail the Taoiseach’s margin of victory, following the secret ballot. Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s 30 minutes speech to his colleagues was reported as being “fiery and a passionate display with little new” as he implored TDs to unite behind the final decision.

John Gormley, leader of the Greens is expected to meet the Taoiseach tomorrow to discuss a timetable for the Finance Bill, other outstanding legislation and of course the general election.

Thurles native and Minister for Tourism Mary Hanafin, who had her eye on the leadership post if is had become available, did not disclose how she voted in the motion of confidence in the Taoiseach at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, although it is widely believed she told him he should stand down, when previously they met in their ‘one to one’ recent interview.

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