Eoghan Harris: Lenihan had what Adams does not: grace under pressure
Published 12/06/2011 | 05:00
By and large, Brian Lenihan flew beneath the political radar until he became Minister for Justice. In one of the first profiles to mark him out as someone special, I wrote here in June 2007, of "a fit-looking Brian Lenihan, the newly appointed Minister for Justice, striding down the ranks of newly graduated gardai in the training centre at Templemore"
But what really caught my attention was Lenihan calling his predecessor, Michael McDowell, "a very great minister". And pondering his words of praise, I made the following accurate prediction about Lenihan's future status as someone special.
"In the millisecond it took to take these words in, Brian Lenihan went straight to the top of my list of leading Irish politicians. And in this I believe I am not alone. Why? Because the new minister's praise for his predecessor means that he belongs to that rarest and most respected of all breeds in Irish public and media life -- a player who is not a begrudger."