Politics

Saturday 26 July 2014

Michael Noonan reveals he has had cancerous lump removed from shoulder

Daniel McConnell

Published 03/06/2014|21:05

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Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed he has been treated for cancer in recent weeks.

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Mr Noonan has undergone surgery as well as radiotherapy in recent weeks to remove a cancerous lump found on his right arm earlier this year.

Mr Noonan is the second consecutive finance minister to be diagnosed with cancer. His precedessor, the late Brian Lenihan, died in June 2011, having battled pancreatic cancer for 18 months.

The popular veteran Limerick TD said that in February he noticed a lump on his right arm in the shoulder area.  Following medical examination, the lump was identified as a sarcoma, which "needed to be removed."

Mr Noonan, who is 71, released a statement to the media shortly before 9pm tonight in response to queries from media. He said he did so in order to ensure accuracy and clarity.

During March and April, in the run-up to the local and European elections, Mr Noonan underwent five weeks of radiotherapy at St Luke's Hospital to shrink the sarcoma.

Last week, Mr Noonan underwent surgery to remove the sarcoma and was released from hospital last Saturday.

In his statement, Mr Noonan said: "Last Wednesday 28th May the sarcoma was removed at Cappagh Hospital. I was discharged on Saturday 31st May. My medical team believe the treatment has gone very well and are upbeat about the prognosis."

He added that there is no damage to my shoulder muscle and my risk of recurrence is low," he said.

Mr Noonan, who is a widower, went on to thank the staff at St Luke's Hospital and Cappagh Hospital, "and in particular my medical team".

He said he will continue to serve as Minister for Finance at the Taoiseach’s discretion. It was confirmed tonight that Taoiseach Enda Kenny was aware of Mr Noonan's condition.

The Finance Minister is expected to speak to the media around lunch time today. The former school teacher is seen as a crucial figure in the Government, and is well respected by Fine Gael and Labour ministers alike.

Mr Noonan has been a minister in every Fine Gael-led government since 1982, serving in the cabinets of Garret FitzGerald, John Bruton and Enda Kenny. During these terms of office he held the positions of Minister for Justice, Minister for Industry and Commerce and Minister for Health.

Mr Noonan's wife Florence died in February 2012 of pneumonia. In May 2010, he appeared on RTE's Frontline programme to talk about his wife's battle with Alzheimer's disease.

He is father to three sons Tim, John and Michael junior and two daughters Orla and Deirdre.

Mr Noonan took over from the late Brian Lenihan as Finance Minister in March 2011. Mr Lenihan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2009 following a gruelling 18 months in office. He died on June 10, 2011 having been the only Fianna Fáil TD to be re elected in the Dublin area in the February General Election.

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