Latest update on Brian Cowen's condition as family remain 'optimistic'
The family of Brian Cowen "remain optimistic" with his condition continuing to "improve gradually."
According to a source close to Mr Cowen, the former Taoiseach is now "aware of his surroundings" and that his family and medical team are remaining optimistic with regard to his recovery.
The Clara native was hospitalised on July 4 with a suspected bleed on the brain, prompting an outpouring of well-wishes towards the man first elected to the Dáil in Laois-Offaly in 1984.
Mr Cowen remains in hospital and his family are realistic in accepting that he will have to stay there "for some time" as he continues his progress, a source revealed.
He had suffered some ill health in the months prior to his hospitalisation on July 4 having been previously admitted for a number of days in late April.
At that time, Mr Cowen was attending an Oireachtas golf society event at Lahinch when he became unwell and was brought to hospital by ambulance.
Cowen became the youngest TD in Dáil Éireann in the 1984 Laois-Offaly by-election when he was elected at the age of 24 into the seat vacated following the death of his own father, Bernard.
He spent the next 27 years in the Dáil, serving as Minister for Labour, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Transport, Energy, Health and Finance.
He was made the leader of Fianna Fail shortly after the resignation of Bertie Ahern in April 2008, and was later ratified in a Dáil vote as the country's 12th Taoiseach, serving in that role from 2008 to 2011.
His brother Barry was elected in his place in 2011 and remains a senior member of the Fianna Fáil party.