Brian Cowen

Irish politician

Brian Cowen (born 10 January 1960) is an Irish politician who served as Taoiseach from 7 May 2008 until his retirement on 9 March 2011.

Brian Cowen



  • ' I was reared in a pub – as a young fellow, serving in the pub I learnt far more there about human nature than I learnt in any university or school. I think it gave me a great insight into people.
    • Hot Press interview with Brian Cowen, 23 May 2007
  • There were a couple of occasions when it was passed around – and, unlike President Clinton, I did inhale!.
    • Hot Press interview with Brian Cowen, 23 May 2007
  • Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them.
    • Brian Cowen responding to Martin McGuinness stating "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this" to certain proposals made during the peace talks concerning Northern Ireland.
    • McCarthy, Justine (28 October 2007). "Cowen: The Anointed One". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved on 2008-05-07. 


  • Hopefully that will be seen as a response, a leadership responding to an issue and therefore one's authority, while it's not as high if you didn't have the problem, it does mean that people say 'well he used his authority to come up with a solution in double-quick time that met with broader public acceptance.
    • "Government comes under further Budget pressure". The Irish Times. 10 October 2008. Retrieved on 2010-06-12. 
    • Explaining why there were radical Government alterations to a budgetary position in October 2008, with the alterations forced by angry public reaction.
  • We have seen already how resistant public opinion is, firstly to comprehension of the new paradigm in which we have to operate; and secondly, to the rationale behind the decisions we have had to take.
    • "Miriam Lord's Week". The Irish Times. 1 November 2008. Retrieved on 2010-06-12. 
    • Cowen's reaction to widespread public opposition to the October 2008 budget and the public's questioning of the rationale behind the cuts and why certain sections of the community were initially targeted.
  • That deterioration, if you like, has to be addressed in the context of the Government being prepared to look at further programmes to see what way we can ensure that going into next year, as challenging as it may be, to see in what way we can seek to help stabilise the finances further.


  • I've come up through the ranks of this parliamentary party and let me tell you the principles that have guided me on that journey since my first election 25 years ago: Loyalty to the party, service to our country and a determination to always do my best for the people. They are principles that still guide me.

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