Former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has claimed his Fianna Fail boss Brian Cowen lacked leadership during his time as Irish Prime Minister.

Lenihan has told a local newspaper in Dublin that he had to step-in and provide real leadership at crucial times during the reign of the last government.

Cowen has since retired from politics and has yet to comment on Lenihan’s claims about his failure to communicate.

“I had a good working relationship with Brian Cowen around the cabinet table but I was disappointed,” said Lenihan in an interview with the Community Voice newspaper.

“I felt that when he was elected Taoiseach he would give a stronger lead and express himself in a more forthright way about the problems facing the country.

“I felt that I had to give a lot of that lead and give those forthright expressions myself along with everything else.”

Lenihan also spoke of his decision not to challenge Cowen for the Fianna Fail leadership.

“I did not challenge Mr Cowen for the leadership because the country was in very choppy waters and any political move of mine could have destabilized the country and its finances,” he added.

“It was a terrible constraint to be operating under.”

Lenihan also told the paper that he has no regrets about his time in office.

“It was the worst economic crash Ireland ever faced and in my defence I can say that I stabilized the ship and kept the ship afloat,” said Lenihan.

“That’s all I could do. I think it’s tremendous now that after this election we will have a new government. I think that’s very important because it will allow us to move on as a people.”

Former prime minister Brian Cowen has declined to comment on the Anglo Irish tapes containing details of bailout discussions with bank executivesGoogle Images