Thursday 22 February 2018

I'm just on paracetemol says minister after cancer op

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan pictured at Government Buildings in Dublin yesterday
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan pictured at Government Buildings in Dublin yesterday
Michael Noonan leaves Government Buildings after speaking about having a cancerous lump removed from his arm. Photo: Tom Burke
Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Finance Minister Michael Noonan intends to stand in the next election despite his cancer diagnosis.

The 71-year-old said he is in "reasonably good form" and is taking normal paracetamol for pain relief following his surgery last week.

The Limerick TD addressed the media in Government Buildings yesterday having confirmed he had a sarcoma on his right upper arm removed eight days ago.

"I had the operation on Wednesday last in Cappagh. I was discharged on Saturday. I came back for Cabinet yesterday. And the Taoiseach has gone to America so I will be doing Leaders' Questions and the Order of Business today," he said.

Asked how he was feeling, Mr Noonan said: "I have a wound down my right shoulder. I am on painkillers but I am down to things that everyone uses like paracetemol and stuff like that."

Mr Noonan discovered a lump on his arm in February and following a medical examination it was confirmed to be a cancerous growth.

He said he first became aware of the lump in the shower. "It happens to a lot of people you know. You're showering in the morning and your fingers run over something and there is a lump there, better get it checked. I kind of toyed with it for 10 days and then I got it medically checked," he said.

He said he feels he is fit enough to continue in office. "I feel very confident I can continue. There is another Budget I need to bring in and another one after that," he said.

Asked about who he told about the cancer before he released his statement on Tuesday night, Mr Noonan said he had informed the Taoiseach and kept him up to date.

"As soon as I had the diagnosis I told him the following day. I have kept him informed, a sentence here, a sentence there. I told him when I was going into hospital but no lengthy discussions. Just to make sure he knew what was going on," he said.

He said he deliberately kept the circle of who knew quite tight.

"I told a couple of people who are close to me politically and I told my family," he explained to reporters.

Mr Noonan was asked whether he intends standing again for election,.

"Well my intention at this stage is to stand again in 2016. But the election isn't for almost two years."

He did say that he had been advised by his doctors to take it easy, but said: "They always tell you to take it easy".

He acknowledged that his diary is quite busy at present, having already begun preliminary talks with Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin ahead of the Budget.

"We arrange for key officials to take their holidays in July so they work August, September and the Budget this year is Tuesday, October 14."

Irish Independent

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