Sunday, September 19, 2010


Guess which one is the subject of this post . . .
On the verge of visiting Ireland, I found this piece about the Irish prime minister pretty interesting. Seems the old boy, Brian Cowen, has been a tippler of note for some time. Apparently the guy was a lush as far back as his university days when he was a law student in Dublin. He admits that he leaned on his dad for food because he spent his own money on liquid lunches.

But obviously, given his political prominence, and I suppose you cannot get more prominent than prime minister of the country*, a pronounced tendency to drink yourself silly is not something your party or even you would want to advertise. But it's been an open secret for years. The opposition likes to goad him particularly on days after he's had a happy night out. He's more likely to get snippy in his responses and thus gain TV time for them. The article recounts several instances of his public drunkenness. And now he's in a good deal of hot water after giving an interview on radio in an inebriated condition.  

Somehow, given Ireland's well-known reputation as a drinker's paradise, this guy seems to be just the right guy for the job. At the very least, stories like this are much to be preferred over those about the sexual abuse of kids by Catholic clergy.

*Learned a new word in the course of reading about this guy. Taoiseach. It's the Irish word for head of government, prime minister, and I haven't the foggiest idea how it's pronounced.
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