Brian CowenBrian Cowen, newly the Big Important Fellow From Offaly, has become Uachtarán Fhianna Fáil, and will, notwithstanding the possibility of the Greens and PDs going mental and bringing down the government, become an Taoiseach next month. This despite not having received the most ringing of endorsements from the Dear Leader of the Liberated Six Counties.

The Rev. is of course fondly remembered for his appraisal of Mr. Cowen.

This from Wikipedia:

Cowen’s tenure as Foreign Minister saw extensive negotiations continue regarding the Northern Ireland peace process and other international activities, particularly when Ireland gained a place on the United Nations Security Council. In 2003 Cowen, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, was the victim of a bizarre personal attack by the leader of Northern Ireland‘s Democratic Unionist Party, Ian Paisley, a former outspoken critic of the Republic of Ireland and its government. In front of a crowd of party supporters and in the presence of television cameras and radio reporters, Paisley launched into a diatribe about Cowen’s personal appearance before also insulting his mother.[3] In 2004 Cowen played a key role during Ireland‘s Presidency of the European Council and the simultaneous expansion of the European Union.

The almost-simultaneous retirements of Messrs Paisley and Ahern couldn’t have been timed better.