Ireland

'His remorse is genuine': Taoiseach backs Barry Cowen over drink-driving ban

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said that he is “disappointed” that he only found out yesterday about a drink-driving ban served by Fianna Fáil minister Barry Cowen in 2016. 

TheJournal.ie understands that Cowen, who is the Minister for Agriculture, served a three-month driving ban in 2016 after being found by gardaí to be drink-driving after attending the All-Ireland football final. 

In a statement, Martin said that he was first made aware of the incident on Friday afternoon. 

“I have spoken to Minister Cowen and I accept that his remorse about this incident is genuine,” Martin said. 

“I am disappointed that I learned about it in this way and have made that clear to him.”

Cowen was named as the Minister for Agriculture and the Marine last Saturday. 

Cowen, a Laois-Offaly TD, is a brother of former taoiseach Brian Cowen.

He previously held frontbench spokesperson roles on Environment and Local Government, and Social Protection.

With additional reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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