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'Brian Lenihan wasn't difficult... Bertie Ahern just never liked intellectuals' - Mary O'Rourke

Former Fianna Fail minister Mary O’Rourke said she was “untroubled” by comments from ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who branded the late Brian Lenihan as “lazy”.

“[Bertie] was always a pint man, a local man… [and] I know that life myself, but I think he just feared some things," said Ms O'Rourke.

The late Mr Lenihan, who had the unenviable job of Minister for Finance during the economic crash, passed away aged 52 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

“[Last night] he spoke about Brian liking poetry and things like that but so what, lots of us like that stuff and we’re still happy to knock on doors.

Ray D’Arcy spoke to Mary O’Rourke about her reaction to last night’s documentary about her nephew, the late Brian Lenihan.

“There might have been some frustration about Bertie not promoting people but I never minded him not promoting Brian.

“Why should he have? He didn't have to promote anyone. As for Brian asking to be a minister, I don’t know any of that. Maybe he did but that’s between guys.”

Mr O’Rourke said she watched 'Lenihan: A Legacy' alongside her son and his family for "emotional support".

“It was filled with emotion – people ask me how did I ever get so attached to my nephew but I worked with him for 16 years under the Oireachtas roof.

"We were work mates as well as family. He use to come in and out of my office… and we would gossip about family and how things were going in the Dail and the Seanad.”

Online Editors

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