What should have been another quiet January weekend has become the centre of political intrigue with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen tendering his leadership of the Fianna Fail party within the last few minutes.
“It is the right thing to do for the party,” he said.
The cards had been stacking against him all week and although it did not come as a complete shock, it has still caught many people napping.
However, he remained steadfast at a hastily convened news conference in Dublin, that he was remaining on as Taoiseach. Flanked to his left by Donegal Tanaiste Mary Coughlan, noticeable by his absence again was Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.
Mr Cowen said he had made this decision on his own counsel and that it was only made last night after returning home. He said that he had spoken to coalition colleague and Green party leader John Gormley within the previous 40 minutes of the press conference.
He believed the Government would win the confidence vote to be tabled on Tuesday by the Labour party in Dail Eireann.