FF minister: Taoiseach gets 'very unfair press'

FF minister: Taoiseach gets 'very unfair press'

A Junior Fianna Fáil minister is coming out in support of the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who he says gets a very hard time in the media.

Minister John Maloney said the parliamentary party think-in in Galway this week was the first opportunity the Taoiseach has had in the past year, to "be close to his colleagues".

Last night the Taoiseach apologised, saying he didn't intend to disrespect the country or the people of Ireland with what "wasn't his best performance".

The Taoiseach Brian Cowen is holding talks on the economy with European leaders today, hoping to put behind him the controversy of recent days.

Minister John Maloney said he believed the Taoiseach did nothing wrong on Tuesday and proved that when he faced the media later that morning.

Mr Maloney said: "I saw Brian Cowen perform in front of 50 national journalists on that morning and I think if there was anything remiss, there is where it would have come out into the open.

"I feel Brian Cowen gets a very unfair press, as it apparently seems that no matter what Brian does there is someone to pick a hole in it."

Mr Cowen, who apologised last night for a poor performance on a live radio interview earlier this week, joins other Government chiefs for the EU Council meeting in Brussels.

Talks are also expected to focus on the European Union’s external relations and how to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the Lisbon Treaty.

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy will report to the Council on the work undertaken by the task force on economic governance.

The Taoiseach is joined on the trip by Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin and Dick Roche, junior minister for European affairs.

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