The deputy leader of Fianna Fail and former Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, has died of pancreatic cancer.
He was 52.
Mr Lenihan was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas at the end of 2009 when he was Minister for Finance under the former Fianna Fail-led government. He confirmed the diagnosis in a statement in January 2010.
Despite undergoing intensive treatment for the disease, he continued in the job under former Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.
He later contested the Fianna Fail leadership after Mr Cowen’s resignation, but lost out to Micheal Martin.
Mr Lenihan was first elected to the Dail in 1996, following a by-election caused by the death of his father. He served the constituency of Dublin West. He became Minister for Justice in 2007, before being made Minister for Finance in 2008.
His time in the finance office will be remembered for among other things, tough budgets, the foundation of NAMA, the bank guarantee scheme and the signing of the EU/IMF bailout.
In the election earlier this year, he was the only Fianna Fail TD to retain his seat in Dublin. Since then, he had been serving as deputy leader of Fianna Fail and the party’s finance spokesperson, however his health had severely deteriorated in recent weeks.
In a statement, Micheal Martin said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by Mr Lenihan’s death, who he described as having fought a ‘brave and courageous battle’ with a serious illness over the past 18 months.
“In all of this time, Brian never once flinched from his public duties and he showed an unceasing and untiring commitment to tackling the economic crisis facing this country. Even when receiving debilitating treatment, Brian continued to work assiduously in the best interests of this country,” Mr Martin said.
He added that as a ministerial colleague, Mr Lenihan ‘had my complete admiration’.
“He was quite simply brilliant and often in a league of his own.”
Mr Lenihan died early on June 10 in his west Dublin home. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and two teenage children. (IrishHealth.com)