Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill says 'Cowen has questions to answer' on licence

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Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill says 'Cowen has questions to answer' on licence

Deputy Jackie Cahill: Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen 'has questions to answer' around his licence

Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill has said the new Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen has "questions to answer" around why he was he was driving on a provisional licence four years ago when he was caught for drink driving.

Minister Cowen is to address the Dáil today on the issues this afternoon.

"Barry Cowen has paid the penalty for drink driving and will give answers to the Dáil, but it is incomprehensible to be driving around on a provisional licence at 49 years of age," said the Thurles based TD. "He needs to address this issue and explain why."

Deputy Cahill said that following the revelation, he had a "stream of phone calls" from parents last week around getting car insurance for their children and the cost of car insurance.

"He is very contrite over the drink driving and I am not going to defend something that I think is wrong, but he has to explain the licence," said Deputy Cahill.

He admitted that Fianna Fáil had "got off to a rocky start" in the new Government because of the Cowen issue and MEP Billy Kelliher attending Micheál Martin's installation as Taoiseach.

"It is not the start we would have liked after a decade out of power," said Deputy Cahill.