Irish echo logo 750x550

Cowen to quit politics

Taoiseach Brian Cowen is leaving Irish political life and will not contest the general election.

Cowen said on Monday night that that after consulting with his family he would not run again in his Laois/Offaly constituency. His brother Barry will contest for the seat in the upcoming general election.

Cowen's decision to quit politics was not unexpected.

"I have to take things into consideration now in the context of the fact of having been taoiseach and leader of the party and former leader and giving a break to the new leader," he said.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

"Of course it's with a heavy heart you make a decision such as this. It's a momentous decision for me, but also I think it's the right decision because the party now is in the process of rebuilding and rejuvenating and renewing, and a generational shift should take place of which I'm a part, certainly in terms of the tenure I've had as a prominent member of the organization throughout the country for many years."