Between Drunk and Hungover!

Coveney’s Tweet was sustained to my ears. I know he withdrew the comment but ought not to have done so. He should have asked Cowen how many units of alcohol he consumed and whether this was appropriate prior to speaking to a radio audience of circa 400,000. Then the question is the definition of drunk – Concise Oxford Dictionary – “rendered incapable by alcohol”. Was that a capable interview? If it was not then did alcohol play a role in that incapacity? Hangover is defined in the same dictionary as ” a severe headache or other after-effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol”.

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Anton Savage in the Irish Mail on Sunday wrote a full article headed “Which is worse: a taoiseach who is hungover, or a cabinet who lie to us (and to themselves) by saying he’s not?

Then on “This Week” on RTE radio, Labour TDs Joan Burton and Liz McManus were extremely prissy on the issue of Tweets. Fergus O’Dowd agreed that Simon Coveney should have withdrawn his instant comment. I simply disagree. The country needs a change of politicians who can see a spade and call it that or at least a shovel. Noel Whelan’s Fianna Fail bias was clear in his Saturday column in the Irish Times. The contrast between Noel Whelan and Anton Savage couldn’t be greater. Who do you think is more accurate – Whelan or Savage?

I sent the following letter to editor to the Irish Times. It is unlikely to be published.

Madam,-Noel Whelan’s usage of the opinion of David Davin Power of RTE that there was no evidence to suggest that he (Mr Cowen) was hung-over or drunk during the interview is not incontrovertibly valid. I do not know the extent of alcohol consumption by Mr Cowen at the Ardilaun Hotel but he was talking on radio about five hours from party leaving time. I listened to the interview on Morning Ireland and I am glad he has a chauffeur. Alcohol is removed from the blood stream at 20 to 40 mg% per hour depending on habituation and the condition of the liver. Binge drinking is a national problem in Ireland. The symptoms I heard on the radio were compatible with the effects of intoxication and its aftermath. Mr Whelan’s assertions to the contrary are either naĆ­ve or disingenuous. Simon Coveney should have stuck to his guns. The incident should be a warning on binge drinking and positive lessons may be learned. Cowen’s sins are economic not personal.