New Taoiseach returns to heartland

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will today make a triumphant return to his heartland for the first time as leader of the country.

The new Fianna Fáil leader is expected to attend a number of events in his native Offaly as part of an organised homecoming.

Offaly Co Council is to honour the Clara-born politician with a civic reception to mark his appointment as the 12th Taoiseach on Wednesday.

There will also be a Fianna Fáil-organised event to celebrate the latest achievement of the long-standing Laois-Offaly TD and former Tánaiste.

Organisers expect a huge turnout in the small town of Clara with traffic restrictions in place and extra gardai drafted in to deal with the crowds.

Mr Cowen is to stop off at Edenderry and Tullamore during the day before making a visit to Ferbane and Birr on Sunday.

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