Despite a high profile at the centre of Irish political life for more than twenty years, relatively little is known about our new leader. Just who is Brian Cowen?
The story begins in the village of Clara, Co. Offaly, where family, local life and the GAA were formative influences. The sudden and unexpected death of his father, Ber Cowen, Fianna Fáil TD for Laois Offaly, thrust a twenty-four year-old Cowen into the heart of Irish politics.
After an eight-year apprenticeship on the back benches, Cowen was appointed to his first ministerial position by Albert Reynolds and later went on to hold the senior cabinet positions of Health, Foreign Affairs and Finance. By the time of Bertie Ahern's resignation, Cowen's standing in the party was such that his election to the leadership of Fianna Fáil seemed inevitable. On 7 May 2008, Brian Cowen became Ireland's eleventh Taoiseach.
Here, for the first time, is a portrait of Brian Cowen which follows his remarkable life story, tracing the road to power from early childhood right up to his eventful early months in the office of An Taoiseach.
Tales of golfing stars and memorable moments from Ireland's best-loved golf correspondent. In almost thirty years as Ireland's leading golf journalist, Dermot Gilleece has met and interviewed numerous heroes of the game.
Join Dermot on the course as he looks back over many wonderful years of golf with the greats - from Jack Nicklaus' first game on Irish soil, to sympathetic accounts of the declining skills of iconic golfers such as Seve Ballesteros. Packed with stories and insights about legends from Gene Sarazen, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods to, of course, 'Himself', Christy O'Connor Snr, Touching Greatness offers highlights from Dermot's much-loved column in the Irish Times, as well as more recent observations on the game. There are unmissable insights into illustrious characters from the amateur game, women's golf, Irish involvement in major team competitions like the Ryder Cup, and the history of Irish golfers in the Open, including the double Open and PGA Champion, Padraig Harrington.
At turns moving and funny, and always beautifully written, Dermot's tales bring you right onto the fairway as you soak up the very best stories from inside the world of competitive golf.
Cassandra never set out to be a psychic, least of all a famous one, with her very own magazine column, plus a glamorous TV slot thrown in for good measure. Let's face it, it's not exactly the usual career choice a girl might make, now is it? But whether she likes it or not, ever since Cassandra was a little girl she's been able to see into the future.
While she can make predictions with 100 per cent accuracy for everyone around her, her psychic gift floats right out the window whenever there's a D.S.M. (decent single man) around that she actually fancies herself especially when that D.S.M happens to be her hot, new TV producer boss.
It seems even being able to foretell the future can't protect Cassandra from what destiny has in store. and sometimes fate won't let you look before you love...