After a number of false alarms (take your pick), it appears that Brian Cowen may now be under fatal pressure as Taoiseach as his parliamentary party meets at 3 pm today, at which his immediate future may be up for discussion (yet again).
Having had to deny any impropriety around his game of golf with Sean Fitzpatrick, formerly of Anglo Irish Bank, he appeared to have just about kept his head above water in the Dáil yesterday.
That was until Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, leader of Sinn Féin in the Dáil (and benefiting from the technical group formed with Finian McGrath and Maureen O’Sullivan), asked him about the others who had attended. Cowen, it appears, had bumped into various members of Sinn Féin, including Deputy Ó Caoláin, who were attending a wedding in Druids Glen on the same day. At that point, Cowen had to admit that others connected to Anglo Irish Bank also met with him for dinner that day, a fact he had, up to now, neglected to mention. His defence that Anglo had never been discussed that day just doesn’t seem to fit with the profile of those he met (indeed, paradoxically, it would be odd, appropriate or not, if they hadn’t discussed the bank).
What happens next is up to the Fianna Fáil group meeting at 3 pm today. Rumours were swirling around of various senior figures meeting in Dublin last night with an attempted heave on the cards today. Apparently there is also a 3.30-4 pm gap in the diary up in the Phoenix Park this afternoon, if it is needed (where that would leave the budget required to keep the IMF and the vig-charging EU happy isn’t exactly clear).
Expect lots of twitter and other chatter today, but will there be blood?
Update: Vincent Browne (on TV3) has revealed that tomorrow’s front page of the Daily Mail will carry claims by David Drumm that Cowen did try and intervene with the NTMA on behalf of Anglo (contradicting Cowen’s own accounts).