MINISTER OPENS MITCHELSTOWN C.B.S. EXTENSION
The opening of a school extension is not normally the type of event to attract the national media, but this was far from a normal week. Only two days after Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announced his retirement on Wednesday of last week, CBS Mitchelstown found itself the centre of attention as national television, radio and print media swarmed the school to hear Minister Micheal Martin’s opinion on Ahern’s successor, and specifically who will replace Brian Cowen as Tanaiste and Minister for Finance.
“Bertie Ahern has left a very strong legacy in a party that works collectively and on a consensus basis which is good for the country in terms of cohesion and unity of purpose,” Minister Martin told a gathering of the press on the steps of the school.
“Policy is a key issue in political life and I am very comfortable with the political philosophy of Brian Cowen as demonstrated in his last three budgets therefore I see a strong future and strong leadership coming in the years to come from Brian Cowen and from the Fianna Fail party.”
He refused, however, to be pressed on his own position and the possibility that he may be Cowen’s Tanaiste.
“I ain’t going there”, he lightheartedly replied to questions on a possible cabinet change.
“I’m not going to engage in any speculation, it’s entirely a matter for the Taoiseach. As far as I am concerned I am available to serve, I consider it a privilege to serve in government and to serve in politics and that the people give me that opportunity”.
“I think it is great to be in a position to serve in politics in any capacity. It has been my great privilege to serve in the Government and in the cabinet. I am available to continue to serve. That is a matter for the Taoiseach and I am certainly not going to be drawn on any speculation that people may have because I think it would be very much idle speculation. Brian Cowen is his own man and will make up his own mind,” he concluded before heading into the CBS hall for a special Mass.
Thursday 10th April 6:32pm