Statement by Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance
During the week before Christmas, I underwent tests in hospital which identified a blockage at the entrance to my pancreas. A stent was inserted and the pancreas is now functioning normally. Cancerous tissue has been identified in the material that has caused the blockage. My medical advice is that chemotherapeutic and radiotherapeutic treatment are required. I will begin the treatment later this week.
Notwithstanding this medical condition, I am feeling fit and well. Having discussed the matter with the Taoiseach and having consulted my medical advisers, it is my intention to continue to serve as Minister for Finance. I will not be accepting invitations for speaking engagements in the next few months. I will continue to fulfil the essential functions of my office. I will supervise the work of my Department and meet delegations relevant to this work. I will prepare for and attend Government meetings. I will make myself accountable to Dáil Éireann and carry out my parliamentary duties. I will convene and attend any meetings required for the implementation of Government policy. I will be available for media interviews about my work as Minister, as required. I will continue to represent the constituency of Dublin West to the best of my abilities.
The Government is determined to implement the plan for economic recovery set out in the last two Budgets. That plan has been endorsed by every member of the Government. With the full support of my colleagues I will continue to oversee its implementation.
I am well aware of the importance of the office I hold. My doctors have advised that I am fit to continue to fulfil my duties. If that position were to change in the course of my treatment, I would be the first to recognise it. At all times, I will act in the best interests of the country and in accordance with any medical advice received. I do not intend to issue any further statements about this matter.
I want to thank the very many well wishers who sent me messages of support following media reports of my illness. I have been overwhelmed by the goodwill shown to my family and myself from all sides. I am aware that many have remembered me in their thoughts and prayers. I thank them for it. I hope I can repay this goodwill by continuing to serve to the best of my ability as I undergo treatment for my medical condition.