Wednesday 21 February 2018

Brian Lenihan made the right call on banks – Michael Martin

Lise Hand

Lise Hand

FIANNA Fail leader Micheal Martin said last night that he believed former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's decisions on the bank guarantee were the right ones.

On the first anniversary of Mr Lenihan's death, Mr Martin said: "In the initial few months, you could make the case that he was a new minister and you could argue that inexperience was a factor.

"But by the time of the bank guarantee, you couldn't make that argument. I think he would have had a strong sense of vindication if he was around today."

And Mr Lenihan's aunt, the former TD Mary O'Rourke, also strongly defended her nephew's decisions.

"When I read all the books that came out last year about what should have happened -- either at the bank thing or the bailout thing -- I thought to myself, 'what do they really know?' Put any one of them in his shoes and what would they have done instead?"

But not everyone agreed.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton was Mr Lenihan's constituency colleague.

"I think he inherited a structure in the Department of Finance which was very inadequate," she said.

"But he was always very much responsible for his own decisions. I disagreed with those decisions and I still disagree with them now."

Irish Independent

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