Cowen to quit politics

Cowen to quit politics

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will not contest the general election, he announced tonight.

Mr Cowen’s political future had been in doubt after he stepped down as leader of the ruling Fianna Fáil party more than a week ago.

He said that after consulting with his family he would not run again in his Laois/Offaly constituency.

Mr Cowen said: "I have to take things into consideration now in the context of the fact of having been Taoiseach and leader of the party and former leader and giving a break to the new leader.''

He said he also took his family into consideration.

The outgoing Taoiseach said new Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin did not ask him to stand down.

“It was not a question of Michéal expecting me to stand aside,” Mr Cowen told Midlands Radio tonight.

Mr Cowen will dissolve the Dáil tomorrow and name a date for the most eagerly awaited general election in decades.

The Dail will reconvene at 2.30pm with a statement from Mr Cowen and expected remarks from the leaders of Opposition parties Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Féin and the Greens, who pulled out of coalition the day after Mr Cowen quit as Fianna Fáil leader.

The Taoiseach will then attend President Mary McAleese’s residence, Aras an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park, and ask her to formally dissolve the Dáil.

Mr Cowen said that while his political career will come to an end, his commitment to the party would remain as strong as ever.

“Of course it’s with a heavy heart you make a decision such as this,” he said.

“It’s a momentous decision for me, but also I think it’s the right decision because the party now is in the process of rebuilding and rejuvenating and renewing, and a generational shift should take place of which I’m a part, certainly in terms of the tenure I’ve had as a prominent member of the organisation throughout the country for many years.”

More on this topic

Cowen in final talks with EU counterpartsCowen in final talks with EU counterparts

Statement by An Taoiseach Brian CowenStatement by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen

Cowen colleagues overheard discussing his running prospectsCowen colleagues overheard discussing his running prospects

Hanafin fourth confirmed candidateHanafin fourth confirmed candidate


More in this Section

Man arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find releasedMan arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find released

Man reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached sceneMan reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached scene

Poll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcementPoll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcement

Hundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in BelfastHundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in Belfast


Lifestyle

We’ll probably be seeing a particular royal in some of these dresses.Video: Temperley’s new collection is your dream holiday wardrobe

It's been a while since we last heard from Damien Rice - four years since his last shows in Ireland, five since his last studio album.Damien Rice is joined by special guests for a truly special show

Your guide to what's on this week.Gardening notes: Your guide to what's on

Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers Fair, continues this weekend at the RDS in Dublin and is open from 11am to 6pm today and tomorrow.In Brief: Your guide to what's on in antiques

More From The Irish Examiner