Cowen hits back at 'hungover' claim

Cowen hits back at 'hungover' claim

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has angrily rejected claims that he was either drunk or hungover on a radio interview this morning.

Mr Cowen branded the comments as "ridiculous" and "uncalled for".

In the interview, conducted at the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party think-tank in Galway and broadcast on RTÉ Radio's 'Morning Ireland' this morning, Mr Cowen mistakenly referred to the Croke Park Agreement as the Good Friday Agreement.

Fine Gael members of the shadow Cabinet have described the performance as "uninspiring", with another saying "the game is up".

In a tweet posted after the interview aired, FG's Simon Coveney said: "God, what an uninspiring interview by Taoiseach this morning. He sounded half way between drunk and hungover and totally disinterested."

Mr Cowen himself wasn't impressed when he faced questions from the media in Galway this morning, saying the accusation was "ridiculous" and "uncalled for".

Mr Cowen's ministerial colleagues inclulding Micheál Martin and Noel Dempsey admitted the Taoiseach was "socialising" last night but insisted Mr Cowen was merely hoarse and that there is no issue with the substance of what he said.

They also slammed the Opposition for trying to "jump on the issue" for political advantage.

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