Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to 'exemplary' TD

Enda Kenny has paid tribute to Brian Lenihan following the former finance minister's death.

Speaking at a meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Farmleigh, Dublin, the Taoiseach described Mr Lenihan as a decent man and an exemplary public servant.

"Brian Lenihan was exemplary in the carrying out of his public duties. He continued a long line of representation for Ireland in public life by both his father (Brian) and grandfather (Patrick) and his family in general," he said.

"He exemplified a great sense of humanity in the public representation he gave."

Mr Kenny, who said he regarded Mr Lenihan as a friend in politics, went on: "He exemplified wonderful courage of an enormous extent in speaking publicly about the illness that he challenged so courageously and about the difficulties he was encountering personally in dealing with that illness and in carrying out his public duties in the most challenging circumstances for any minister for finance."

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who twice appointed Mr Lenihan to ministerial roles, said: "He was a politician of outstanding capabilities and compassion who was colourful and extraordinarily clever.

"He did immense work on behalf of the people of this country as a minister and his loss is a huge one for Irish politics."

Mr Ahern added: "He had to contend with huge difficulties but he was equal to the challenge and did a very fine job. He showed great courage and fortitude in dealing with his illness and he was a man of decency and integrity."

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, who was also at Farmleigh, 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 was a good friend to Northern Ireland."

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