Junior Minister Conor Lenihan says Fianna Fail has been ''very damaged'' by the controversy surrounding the Taoiseach's radio interview last week.
"We are very damaged by this particular controversy," said Lenihan. "People are annoyed and angry at this.
"We know that there’s a serious challenge to our party and to the authority and respect with which people hold the office of Taoiseach.
"I expect both the Taoiseach and his colleagues to address that matter in the weeks ahead."
It comes as pressure mounts on the Taoiseach's leadership after a newspaper poll of his party's backbenchers revealed that Mr Cowen would not survive a heave if a senior Cabinet Minister opposed him.