McGuinness: independent

TAOISEACH BRIAN Cowen's style of leadership is one of dictatorship and the Tánaiste Mary Coughlan is out of her depth, according to an independent local election candidate and brother of sacked junior minister John McGuinness.

Despite hailing from one of the best-known Fianna Fáil families in Kilkenny, Eugene McGuinness will contest the 5 June local elections as an independent.

He was shocked when Cowen sacked his brother 10 days ago and said: "Brian Cowen has maintained an old and antiquated political machine rather than trying to build a new one, and his style of leadership is one of a dictatorship.

"Anybody who comes forward with new ideas like John McGuinness is not welcome as Cowen is afraid of new ideas. He is much more comfortable with the old political machine rather than trying to build a new one." He claimed that Fianna Fáil has changed for the worst in the last 20 years. "I come from a Fianna Fáil family but I have never been a paid-up member. My only involvement was to canvass for my father and my brother John because they are family."

He was eager to point out that in standing as an independent he has not had a rift with his brother John. "I have always seen myself as an independent but I will be canvassing for John in the next election because he is my brother." People in Kilkenny are very angry that John was sacked as they know that he has worked extremely hard for the people of Kilkenny.

"It was obvious that there were tensions between John and Mary Coughlan. In any company if you have somebody snapping at your heels with more knowledge than you, you get frightened and that was the case and she is absolutely out of her depth."

Eugene is involved in a number of businesses and is launching a new venture,
Cú Chullain Hurleys Ltd, in the coming weeks.

"I have worked in America, Australia, Switzerland and Germany so I have a tremendous amount of life experience.

"I have sat waiting in this kitchen to find out if a bank manager will give me a bank loan but there are people in Dáil Éireann who have not got that experience," he said.