Barry Cowen was presented with his seal of ministerial office just 18 days ago
Offaly TD Barry Cowen is still trending on social media after his sensational sacking as Agriculture Minister amid a drink-driving scandal.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed his departure from the post in the Dail chamber on Tuesday evening. Cowen served just 18 days as a government minister.
Cowen served a drink-driving ban after being found to be over the legal limit and driving on a learner permit on the way home to Offaly from Croke Park in 2016.
Further details emerged in last weekend's Sunday Times suggesting Deputy Cowen turned away and attempted to avoid the Garda checkpoint. He refutes the accuracy of this detail and GSOC is now investigating how the pulse file related to the matter made its way to the media.
The Taoiseach said the garda report on the incident raised a number of other issues and he terminated the Offaly man's position as a member of government.
There has been a wide range of views and opinions shared on the matter on Twitter with thousands of tweets shared over the past 24 hours. You can see a sample below:
Barry Cowen’s sacking is extraordinary given Micheál Martin knew about the alleged attempt to evade the Garda check point last week - and knew Cowen had not addressed the issue in his apology to the Dail.— Colette Browne (@colettebrowne) July 14, 2020
Martin defended Cowen in the Dail earlier today. What changed?
The decision Micheal Martin has made is like a referee losing control of a game and sends someone off harshly to try and show authority and regain control and it's all about him which will lead to his own downfall @CowenBarry head up— Brian Gavin (@referee34) July 14, 2020
Odd that Micheál Martin accepts Barry Cowen had to come into the Dáil and give a further statement - and yet he voted specifically for this NOT to happen yesterday afternoon.— Hugh O'Connell (@oconnellhugh) July 15, 2020
Certainly don’t miss frontline politics on a day like today. Cruel trade. Can’t help thinking that if every TD who previously drove after alcohol raised their hand - we would witness the first Dàil Mexican Wave. Not sure about double administration of justice for politicians.— Jim Daly (@jimdalyclon) July 15, 2020
I’d love someone to do a venn diagram with one circle for those who supported the media for breaking the Clare Daly story and another for the Barry Cowen yarn. Wonder would there be any crossover at all? People are weird. #itsastory— Michael O'Toole (@mickthehack) July 15, 2020
FF’s Michael McGrath tells @morningireland that Barry Cowen has “paid a huge personal price” but Taoiseach came to view “it was not politically sustainable” for Cowen not deal with issue head on. @rtenews— David Murphy (@davidmurphyRTE) July 15, 2020
I was struck by the silence from most FF councillors in last 10 days and how that contrasted with the days immediately following Barry Cowen's appointment.— Gearoid Keegan (@gearoid1keegan) July 15, 2020
Alan Kelly must clarify what has changed that has led him to look for answers, having voted against the Dáil being allowed to ask questions of Barry Cowen, only a week ago. https://t.co/WQk7ED1wk7— John Collins (@HangBlaa) July 14, 2020
This is the section of the Constitution that the Taoiseach used to sack Barry Cowen tonight.— Hugh O'Connell (@oconnellhugh) July 14, 2020
Article 28.9.4 pic.twitter.com/CgJGEMpLQk
Credit where credit is due for Michael Martin to sack Barry Cowen but questions still have to be asked what changed between 2pm in the Dail where he defended him and 9pm when he was sacked. What made him change his mind?— Adam Kennefick BLM (@LeonPaul95) July 14, 2020
Barry Cowen has already set up a continuity Fianna Fáil - appropriately, its acronym is OFF. pic.twitter.com/yD97ZM0Y9T— Colette Browne (@colettebrowne) July 14, 2020
I don't know who's right in the Rebecca Vardy/Coleen Rooney story. I don't know who's right in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard story. And I don't know who's right in the Barry Cowen/Micheal Martin story. Sorry! I feel I've failed at Twitter. I'm off to bed to read a good book.— Eilis O'Hanlon (@EilisOHanIon) July 14, 2020
Maybe things are FINALLY starting to change in Ireland! Drinking alcohol is not a "cool" thing as the majority of the population seems to think.— Ana Maria (@anamariairlanda) July 14, 2020
Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen sacked by Taoiseach https://t.co/zxBcZwm8NG
The “not without a fight” tone of Barry Cowen’s statement, coupled with the loud rumbles of discontent following the initial Cabinet announcements, suggests that there’s quite the little civil war going on in FF right now.— Paul Hughes (@paolohughes) July 14, 2020
In summary, Barry Cowen is raging https://t.co/0JftR1B7nM— Stephen Murphy (@Stephen_Murphy5) July 14, 2020