[QODLink]
Europe
Ex-Irish finance minister Lenihan dies at 52
Brian Lenihan, who worked on the country's 2010 bailout, loses battle against pancreatic cancer.
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2011 14:16

Lenihan delivered four austerity budgets in his less than three years in the job [AFP]

Ireland's former finance minister Brian Lenihan, who was in office during Ireland's EU/IMF bailout late last year, has died after an 18-month battle with cancer, his family said on Friday.

The 52 year old combined one of the toughest jobs in Europe with his treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Colleagues, opponents and journalists noted his ability to retain his good humour, energy and sense of fun throughout the period.

 "Brian Lenihan faced events at a scale and a pace of magnitude that no other Irish minister has ever previously had to contend," Michael Martin, ther leader of Lenihan's Fianna Fail party, said.

"When Ireland was in the eye of the storm, Brian Lenihan never faltered."

Lenihan delivered four austerity budgets in his less than three years in the job.

He bailed out the country's two biggest lenders, nationalised the third and took charge of the two biggest building societies.

Once seen as a contender to lead Fianna Fail, the humiliation of having to apply for an EU-IMF bailout and his poor health put an end to any such plans.

"I have a very vivid memory of going to Brussels on the final Monday and being on my own at the airport and looking at the snow gradually thawing and thinking to myself: this is terrible," Lenihan said in a BBC interview earlier this year.

"No Irish minister has ever had to do this before. Now hell was at the gates."

The former lawyer and university lecturer took over the finance portfolio just as the economy began to unravel in 2008.

A scion of one of Ireland's most famous political dynasties, Lenihan's father was a former deputy prime minister and one-time presidential candidate.

His aunt and brother served in parliament until electoral defeat in February.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.