Cowen Won't Be Moved

The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, is to continue as leader of his country amid speculation over his political future.

Mr Cowen has been facing questions over his leadership in recent days, following criticism of his performance in a radio interview with RTE.

He has denied allegations that he was hung-over during the early morning interview on 14 September - and vows to remain in post - despite his former Chief Whip, Tom Kitt calling time on the country's leader.

Mr Cowen has also received support from a number of Fianna Fail colleagues, including the Irish Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan.

In a joint media briefing with Mr Lenihan on Monday evening, called to respond to growing specuation about the Taoiseach position, Mr Cowen said he was not a 'Taoiseach on probation'.

He insisted he has the full support of his party as the Irish government faces a number of big economic decisions in the coming weeks and months.

He said he would continue to work with his colleagues in an atmosphere of 'mutual respect'.

He added he would be working with his Finance Minister to get the Irish Republic through the challenging times ahead.


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