Cowen: 'We never saw crash coming'

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said that his government never saw the crash coming - and didn't have a plan B.

Cowen: 'We never saw crash coming'

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said that his government never saw the crash coming - and didn't have a plan B.

In an his first full interview since leaving office, details of which were published in the Irish Independent today, Mr Cowen nonetheless said he stands over the controversial banks guarantee.

The interview, conducted in Irish with TG4's Comhrá programme and due to be broadcast next month, also indicated that the then government didn't believe people who were warning of danger at the time of collapse.

"Well, the truth is that we didn't believe it. We thought the economy would have a soft landing, that economic growth would continue and we could pay for it through the growth that was to come," Mr Cowen is quoted as saying.

Mr Cowne however said the consequences of the crisis were "very regrettable" and he had a "serious duty to accept responsibility for what had happened".

Daniel McConnell, political correspondent with the Sunday Independent, said some of Mr Cowen's admissions in the programme are astonishing,.

"To say that they never saw that crash coming, or they had no Plan B, is a most remarkable admission for a man who was (Minister for) Finance for four years before he became Taoiseach," Mr McConnell told Newstalk.

"This is in the context, we know, of warnings from within his own department being suppressed, and being ignored and dismissed by more senior officials.

"The line (was) obviously 'keep the party going as long as we can'."

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