Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to Brian Lenihan

Peter Robinson has paid tribute to former Republic of Ireland finance minister Brian Lenihan, who has died aged 52 following a battle with cancer.

Speaking at a meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Farmleigh, Dublin, the First Minister described Mr Lenihan as a personal friend who had helped out the north several times when it was needed.

"I express not just my personal and party sympathy (to his family) but indeed sympathy on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive and the people of Northern Ireland," he said.

"He was a good friend to Northern Ireland."

Mr Robinson said all who knew Mr Lenihan could not help but be impressed by his courage battling cancer.

"He never sought any concession for his illness, he came and did a full day's work and more," he said.

"I, like Enda (Kenny), can say Brian was a friend. I think it says much about him, his character as an individual, that all of us who knew him consider him to be so."

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also extended his sympathies to the Lenihan family.

"They will miss him and we will miss him too," he said. "He was not just a good politician, he was a very affable person, someone who was very inclusive and someone who was a character in his own right."

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said: "Brian was a man who was very popular across the political divide and was much loved in his constituency and across the state."

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