HIS last week was a hectic one for Brian Cowen as he performed his final official duties as Taoiseach, in his native Offaly.
On Thursday evening Mr Cowen officially opened the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore which opened its doors in 2007. Mr Cowen said he was especially delighted to open the hospital as funding was secured during his time as Minister for Health.
Then on Friday he officially opened Coláiste na Sionna, Banagher College and Gallen CS, in Ferbane. “Each one – St Rynagh’s, Banagher College and Gallen Community College are proof positive of the strides Offaly has been making to open up new opportunities for teenagers and adults in West and South Offaly in recent years,” said Mr Cowen.
On Monday he returned to the town he loves so well, Clara, to officially open the Clara Bog Visitor Centre and Clara Library.
The Taoiseach said that “it should tempt new tourists to the area and will form a bridgehead with other local heritage attractions, such as Clonmacnoise, Birr Castle and the Slieve Blooms Nature Reserve. In doing so, it will help to attract business and employment to the region, in terms of the spin-off opportunities from tourism.”
At the event Mr Cowen said he had no concrete plans for the future but for the moment he planned to relax.
See pages 2, 3, 4, 5 & 88 of this week’s Offaly Express for reports and pictorial coverage of Brian Cowen’s final engagements as the country’s 12th Taoiseach.