Barry Cowen: Irish minister sacked for drunk driving

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RTE

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Barry Cowen was appointed Irish Minister for Agriculture in June 2020


The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Barry Cowen, was sacked.

Fianna Fáil TD said she was “disappointed” with this decision.

He had been at the center of a controversy around a drunk driving ban imposed in September 2016.

In a statement released following his dismissal on Tuesday evening, Cowen said he wanted to emphasize that “at no time did I try to escape” at the Garda checkpoint.

He was stopped at the checkpoint and breathed his breath on the way back to Co Offaly from Dublin after the football final in Ireland four years ago.

Mr. Cowen served a three-month driving ban at the time.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin said on Tuesday that he had “ended” the appointment of Cowen as a member of the government.

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PA Media

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The Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin spoke Tuesday in the Irish parliament


On Tuesday during questions from leaders in the Dáil, Martin said that Cowen had “categorically denied any attempt to avoid a checkpoint,” according to RTÉ News.

The taoiseach said, “It is a very sad day for Barry, his family and for me. He was a very committed, very diligent and very dedicated public representative.

“In the past 10 days, he has been the subject of numerous criticisms and convictions for a traffic violation that took place in 2016.”

The taoiseach said it saw a garda report raising “additional problems requiring further explanation”.

‘Intenable’

Mr. Martin added, “I explained that to him clearly (Mr. Cowen) and I gave him a space today to delve into the matter.

“However, he decided that he was not prepared to respond publicly to this allegation and that he would not make any further statements or answer any questions on this matter in this house.

“This decision has created a situation where legitimate doubts and questions are raised and government colleagues are expected to answer them, which is simply untenable. ”

Cowen said he was informed of the taoiseach decision over the phone.

In his statement, posted on Twitter, he added: “Unfortunately, the taoiseach’s decision to remove me from office, when he supported me this afternoon in the Dail, undermined and potentially compromised my right to a trial. fair. “

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