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Controversy as opposition accuses Taoiseach of drunk interview

Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen says opposition reached a "real new low" after Fine Gael blogger suggests the Taoiseach was drunk in radio interview.

Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen says opposition reached a "real new low" after Fine Gael blogger suggests the Taoiseach was drunk in radio interview.

A RTÉ radio interview with the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen became an international news story after an opposition politician, Fine Gael's Simon Coveney, posted a comment on Twitter suggesting that the Taoiseach had been "halfway between drunk and hungover".

Mr Cowen was interviewed on September 14th 2010 on the Morning Ireland programme, only a few hours after an annual Fianna Fáil party conference which stretched late into the night.

In the interview, Mr Cowen sounded hoarse and mistakenly referred to the recent Croke Park public-sector pay agreement as the 1998 "Good Friday Agreement".

Hours after the opposition claimed the Taoiseach had been inebriated on air, the Irish Prime Minister was already making the headlines in 30 countries around the world.

Denying the opposition's claim, the Taoiseach said Irish politics had reached a "real new low".

Political analysts commented the allegation could become one of the most damaging episodes of Brian Cowen's political career.

The Taoiseach's handling of the RTÉ broadcast prompted a number of Fianna Fáil backbenchers to renew their concerns over Mr Cowen's leadership.

Fine Gael's Simon Coveney refused to apologise and issued a further message on Twitter saying "Seems like offering an honest comment on Taoiseach’s interview is now being described as a new low in politics."

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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