Tuesday 23 May 2017

Lenihan says 'robust' cancer treatment not affecting job

Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

FINANCE Minister Brian Lenihan yesterday insisted his work has not been affected by his treatment for cancer.

The minister, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three months ago, said his intensive treatment had "gone well" and that there had been no deterioration in his health.

In January, when Mr Lenihan spoke for the first time about his pre-Christmas diagnosis, he said he would not be providing further updates on his health unless his condition worsened.

But yesterday, when asked about the treatment he previously said would include aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the minister said it was "proceeding satisfactorily".

However, he said he was not in a position to make a public statement on the prognosis.

"I can assure you there's no such deterioration," Mr Lenihan told RTE's 'News at One'.

"I'm on a robust programme of treatment and it's proceeding satisfactorily, but I'm not in a position to make a public statement on the prognosis."

The minister, who had to grapple with the multi-billion euro recapitalisation of the banks and the National Asset Management Agency's start-up in recent weeks, said his treatment had not interfered with his work as head of the Department of Finance.

"I can say it has gone well to date and certainly I've been in a position to perform my duties in the last three months since I received the diagnosis and started the treatment," he said.

"It has not obstructed me in performing my constitutional duties. I've attended in the house to the question time on every occasion that has arisen. I've also participated in parliamentary debates and media discussions about the economy and banking and other subjects and will continue to do so."

Last December, tests revealed the minister was suffering from a blockage at the entrance to his pancreas and cancerous tissue had been identified.

Since the treatment began, the minister has cut back on public engagements, but continues to attend the Dail, work from the department and join Taoiseach Brian Cowen for major government events.

Irish Independent

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