News Comment

Friday 9 December 2016

Symbolic bravery not enough to save Lenihan's political legacy

Brian Lenihan remains one of the most controversial and divisive finance ministers in our history, writes Daniel McConnell

Published 14/06/2015 | 02:30

Brian Lenihan: His premature death has added to his allure as a figure of historical significance
Brian Lenihan: His premature death has added to his allure as a figure of historical significance

Last Wednesday, members of Brian Lenihan's family gathered in Blanchardstown for his fourth anniversary mass.

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Dead at 52, having battled to save the country for two-and-a-half years and a terminal illness for 18 months, his legacy as finance minister is once again being assessed. This is right and proper as his term in office was the most dramatic, the most controversial since Michael Collins held that post.

Lenihan, the son, grandson, nephew and brother of Fianna Fail ministers, was steeped in the party's politics and tradition. Named Breen, he was a son of the midlands, born and raised in Athlone until he was 12. He went on to become a Trinity College Dublin law scholar and later a successful Senior Counsel.

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