Prime Minister Brian Cowen of Ireland

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Author: Date: July 15 2008
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On 7 May 2008 following the resignation of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach, Cowen was nominated in the Dáil and elected Taoiseach.
Brian Cowen was born in Clara, County Offaly on 10 January 1960.
Cowen was educated at Clara National School, Ard Scoil Naomh Chiaráin (St.
Cowen is married to Mary Molloy and has two daughters.
Cowen was elected to Dáil Éireann in the Laois-Offaly by-election of 1984, caused by the death of his father.
Cowen remained on the backbenches of Dáil Éireann for the next seven years.
Following the 1989 general election when Fianna Fáil entered into a coalition government with the Progressive Democrats for the first time, Cowen was one of a number of TDs who were vehemently opposed to the move.
In the main warm-up to the leader's address, Cowen was even more blunt regarding his attitude to coalition, making the statement, "What about the PDs? When in doubt leave them out.
A deal was reached between the two parties, and Cowen was again appointed Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications.
In October 1994 it was revealed that Cowen had 1,000 shares in Arcon, a company to which he was in the process of awarding a mining licence.
Cowen was appointed to the front bench, first as spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Forestry (1994) and later as spokesperson on Health (1997.
When Fianna Fáil returned to power following the 1997 general election, Cowen was appointed to the newly expanded position of Minister for Health Children.
Cowen has been criticised for being allegedly complacent during the economic turmoil in January 2008.
During his ministerial career, Cowen was often touted in the media as the front-runner to succeed Bertie Ahern as leader of Fianna Fáil.
Cowen was confirmed as the sole nominee for the position of Leader of Fianna Fáil on 5 April, having been nominated by Brian Lenihan and by Mary Coughlan on 4 April.
On 7 May 2008 Cowen was nominated by Dáil Éireann as Taoiseach.
In an opinion poll released in the Irish Times on 14 November 2008, "satisfaction with the Government has dropped to a record low of 18 per cent, a drop of 28 points since the last Irish Times poll in June, while satisfaction with Taoiseach Brian Cowen has fallen to 26 per cent, a drop of 21 points.
In December 2008, Cowen was ranked second last in a list of the best leaders in Europe in 2008, by a French business newspaper, La Tribune, who asked 12 senior European correspondents from nine countries to rate the 27 heads of government in the EU.
As Miram Lord of the Irish Times reporting on the result of their straw poll noted they placed , French president Nicolas Sarkozy in first place, while Brian Cowen was placed 26th out of 27.
Cowen has been accused by an Irish Independent columnist of making an incorrect "decisive" decision in relation to the Irish pork crisis of 2008, by agreeing with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland withdrawal of Irish pork from the market, for a five day period, due to dioxin contamination in a small percentage of the pig stock, ultimately costing the taxpayer some €180 million.
Cowen has been accused of lackadaisical leadership in relation to the country, that is in crisis, with Cowen lacking the ability of leading from the front or even displaying any urgency.
Cowen is often referred to in the Irish satirical and tabloid media as BIFFO, a pejorative nickname sometimes applied to people from the midlands county of Offaly.
Cowen has been openly criticised by his parliamentary party colleagues including one, who in a TV interview said that, Cowen has suffered from "poor communications and consultation" and expressed concern about the emergence of the triumvirate within the Cabinet.
Brian Cowen is 'excited by the challenge but daunted by the responsibility' of becoming Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil.
At his first news conference since being elected leader-designate of the party, Mr Cowen said his election was the highlight of his political career to date.
BrianCowen was elected unopposed as the seventh leader of Fianna Fáil at a special meeting of the parliamentary party this morning.
Mr Cowen said today was a proud day for his wife Mary, two daughters, mother May and his wider family.
Mr Cowen said there are improvements happening in our health service whilethere arealso perennial structural problems.
Mr Cowen said he is deeply committed to continuing the Government's involvement in the Northern Ireland.
Mr Cowen said Bertie Ahern lived the position 'day and night', and had a huge work ethic which Mr Cowen said he hopes to match.
On the question of what he intended to re-shape on a personal level, Mr Cowen said he was very conscious of the fact that taking on the role of Taoiseach brings huge responsibilities and he has to make sure that heholds thatoffice with the required dignity and decorum.
Mr Cowen said the fundementals of the economy are still good even though we are clearly in more challenging times and the one thing we will not do at this phase of the economic cycle is retreat on our capital investment.
AsTánaiste, Finance Minister and Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil, Brian Cowen was always in pole position.
Cowen was seen as having lost his first political test.
Brian Cowen elected new Irish premierPosted on 05-07-2008Finance Minister Brian Cowen was elected Ireland's new prime minister Wednesday, and he pledged to keep the country on its pro-European course through choppy economic waters.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is leading his country's biggest ever trade mission to Japan in an effort to boost investment from the world's second-largest economy, an official said Wednesday.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said there will be sufficient, independently verified information about the Lisbon Treaty available to all the electorate to enable them to make a choice on 12 June.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News At One, Mr Cowen said he had not read the treaty cover to cover, but argued it was not an impenetrable document.
At the launch, Mr Cowen said he was confident all members of Government would be supporting a Yes vote.
Mr Cowen said anyone who had a conscientious problem with the treaty would have to consider that issue outside the context of the parliamentary party.
For more information and analysis on the Lisbon Treaty visit RT.
Political Career: Brian Cowen was appointed as Tánaiste and re-appointed as Minister for Finance on 14th June, 2007 having first been appointed Minister for Finance in September 2004.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said Friday that he was disappointed that Irish voters rejected the European Union reform treaty, but said the government "accepts and respects the verdict of the Irish people.
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) did come to Ireland's rescue yesterday -- but only to try to undo the damage caused by confusion over whether Taoiseach Brian Cowen had said they might be needed.
Speaking in Japan today, Mr Cowen said the.
var jiveDescription = "Finance Minister ian Cowen was elected Irelands new prime minister Wednesday, and he pledged to keep the country on its pro-European course through choppy economic waters.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said last month he was prepared to hold another vote on the treaty on the basis of concessions Dublin has secured.
Related People to Brian Cowen Dermot Ahern Taro Aso Dan Boyle Akihito Loading People.
To be honest, I know very little about Irish politics, and to even prove you more of my shallowness, the only real reason why I'm mentioning Brian Cowen is that I truly believe he'd look way better with a beard.
The following is from his Wiki page: "Cowen is often referred to in the Irish satirical and tabloid media as BIFFO, a pejorative nickname sometimes applied to people from the midlands county of Offaly.
Cowen has said that 'BIFFO' stands for 'Beautiful Intelligent Fellow From Offaly.
Cowen was accused of 'conduct unbecoming' in the Dáil, over comments that he made in the Dáil, when at the end of a heated exchange Cowen sat down, and turned to Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and Dáil microphones then picked up the Taoiseach using the word 'fuckers.
Speaking in Japan today, Mr Cowen said the appalling situation in the Palestinian territory must come to an end.
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen is under pressure to make a tough decision on cutting the number of junior ministers after more than half offered to fall on their swords and give up their posts for the good of the economy.
TOKYO, Jan 15 (AP) - (Kyodo)—Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen expressed his hope Thursday that Japan will play a key role in UN.
Mr Cowen took over from his predecessor Bertie Ahern in awkward circumstances.
Brussels - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was to hold crisis talks with European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday, a week after Irish voters rejected the European Union's Lisbon Treaty.
Cowen accepts blame, does not rule out second Irish vote on Lisbon Submitted by Sahil Nagpal on Fri, 06/20/2008 - 15:14.
Dublin, Brussels - As the EU's summer summit concluded Friday, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen accepted responsibility for the June 12 rejection by Irish voters of the Lisbon Treaty and said he could not say whether Ireland would vote again on the treaty.
I take whatever responsibility is appropriate for me, Cowen said in Brussels.
In comments carried by national broadcaster RTE, Cowen said there was no quick fix to the crisis created by Ireland's rejection of the treaty aimed at streamlining decision-making in the 27-member bloc.
Since taking up office on May 7, Brian Cowen has sustained two crushing political blows.
Helsinki - The government of Ireland is not planning to make any decisions on a new referendum on the European Union reform treaty until a EU summit next month, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said in Helsinki late Thursday.
Stockholm  - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen met Friday with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm, and briefed him about the Irish government's views on how to go ahead with the European Union reform treaty.
In return, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is seeking legal guarantees on Irish sovereignty over issues such as abortion, neutrality and taxation, they said.
will result in a wipeout in next Junes local elections.
The name evokes a heavyweight political bruiser just by its sound, but Biffo is also an acronym: it stands for Big Ignorant F*** From Offaly, the county in the Irish midlands where Cowen was born and which he still represents in the country's parliament.
Cowen has the credentials for high office.
Cowen takes charge in anxious economic times, and like Brown, he could suffer from being rather less charismatic than his predecessor.
Whereas Ahern loved working the crowds, Cowen has built his reputation as a backroom politician.
Instead of a makeover, Cowen is more likely to offer Ireland the kind of matter-of-fact some would say blunt talk that has made him the first Irish premier to admit smoking marijuana, back when he was a student in the late '70s.
A committed European, Cowen said his first important task is to ensure that Irish voters ratify the European Union's Lisbon treaty by referendum next month.
Irelands newly elected Prime Minister Brian Cowen is presented with the Seal of Office by President Mary McAleese in Dublin Wednesday.
DUBLIN, Ireland: Finance Minister Brian Cowen was elected Irelands new prime minister Wednesday, and he pledged to keep the country on its pro-European course through choppy economicwaters.
But Cowen said it was in Irelands interests to vote "yes.
Cowen is due to unveil his new cabinet later in theday.
Yeah Cowen is responsible for the global banking crisis abadrefPosts:178Posted 18-Dec-200820:41Report offensive postAnd all of the multinationals laying people off.
Yeah Cowen is responsible for the global banking crisis Seems you're off the same opinion as clowen.
Irish PM Cowen denies he may need to call in IMF", "By Andras Gergely and YokoNishikawa Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen denied reports on Wednesday he planned to call on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help the countrys ailing economy, after a report suggesting he would knocked theeuro.
The euro fell more than a cent against the dollar on Wednesday morning after Irish public broadcaster RTE reported Cowen had said Ireland may need IMF help if its economic prospects continue todeteriorate.
7 billion pounds) behind target and is increasingly falling behind the level of spending as recession bites, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said onSunday.
Speaking ahead of Mondays publication of detailed full-year exchequer figures, Cowen said tax revenue came in around 40 billion euros to 41 billion euros, compared with a 49 billion euro target and", "International Herald Tribune.
Irish PM denies report he may call in IMFIreland says debt low, taking action on deficit", "DUBLIN/TOKYO - Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen denied reports he might call on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic help, but the euro remained weak after taking a hit from the earlier story.
com/view/2009/01/04/UAE_banks_top_realty_exposure/"},{title:"Irish PM says balancing budget may take up to five years", desc:"IRELAND will need four to five years to bring its recession-hit public sector finances back into balance, Prime Minister Brian Cowen has said.
com/view/2009/01/13/More_steps_needed_to_stabilize_banks_Bernanke_w/"},{title:"Irish PM leads trade mission to Japan", desc:"TOKYO - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is leading his country's biggest ever trade mission to Japan in an effort to boost investment from the world's second-largest economy, an official said", credit:"AP / Geert Vanden Wijngaert", width:468, height:312, src.
Increasingly, Brian Cowen is starting to seem like Oliver Hardy.
TAOISEACH BRIAN Cowen has ruled out the Government accepting Dáil amendments to the bank guarantee scheme because it would put the agreement reached with the European Commission at risk.
Do you think Brian Cowen is much of a wine drinker? I dont want to judge a book by its cover here or anything, but I would be surprised if he was.
Ireland wants to co-operate with other European Union member states, but it simply had to move last week to safeguard Irelands banking system, Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said.
AP)Finance Minister Brian Cowen was elected Ireland's new prime minister Wednesday, and he pledged to guide the country on a continued pro-European course through choppy economic waters.
Outside parliament, Cowen was mobbed by cheering, singing well-wishers as police escorted him to his prime ministerial Mercedes.
Cowen was expected to reshuffle the Cabinet later Wednesday.
Cowen praises Obama approach in Tokyo speech 15 Jan 2009 13:01 GMT.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he believes Barack Obama's presidency will revive the multi-faceted approach to foreign.
Brian Cowen has not spent a single cent of the taxpayers' money on cosmetics since taking.
Brian Cowen has often been described as an unlucky Taoiseach.
Wariness over the outlook for Ireland also lingered after Prime Minister Brian Cowen denied a report that he might call on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for.
It seems to me Cowen is in the same bracket.
This man is a paid political commentator, does he not realise that the phrase is a base political oxymoron? Bertie Ahern says Cowen has a brilliant mind and Senator Mary White says there is magic when he speaks.
ANALYSIS:The new public face of Brian Cowen was on show for the first time yesterday, writes Mark Hennessey.
The benchmark for Cowen is not Ahern, even if he mentioned him frequently, but Seán Lemass, and in particular, the Lemass of the 1960s, the visionary technocrat.
Throughout his career, Cowen has always been the quintessential Fianna Fáil loyalist; once dismissive of junior coalition partners, contemptuous of enemies.
Uncomfortable with applause and anxious to get away from television cameras, Cowen has not lost touch with his roots or background and is less ego-driven than most in politics.
Cowen is a thoughtful, intelligent man, for the most part in private, but he can be a bruiser, particularly when faced with those he believes are not his intellectual equals.
And Cowen is going to have to become more attractive to women voters if Fianna Fáil is to thrive.
Cowen is careful to obey the proprieties and not to talk as if he is taoiseach until he takes over on May 7th and forms his government after he receives his seal of office from President Mary McAleese.
The Taoiseach Brian Cowen is to attend a rally today to steady the resolve of Dublin FF supporters in a last ditch effort to get them to support the Lisbon Treaty.