Sunday 25 February 2018

Tributes pour in for true Irish patriot and friend of the people

"I regarded him as a friend in politics. On behalf of all the people, I would like to express my condolences on the passing of a decent man, a fine public representative and someone I was proud to know." Taoiseach Enda Kenny

"All cabinet ministers work hard but Brian worked around the clock. He was utterly dedicated. I'm sure history will be kind to him. When people reflect on those difficult times, people will see someone who did all he could." Former Green Party leader and cabinet colleague John Gormley

"At a time of unprecedented economic crisis, Brian Lenihan stood up and stood apart, working tirelessly at getting the economy back on to a sustainable footing." IBEC director general Danny McCoy

"Mr Lenihan deserved great respect for his defence of the overseas aid programme, especially during the very difficult times this country has faced in recent years. He always felt that Ireland had an important international moral obligation to work with the world's poorest people." Chief executive of Concern, Tom Arnold

"Brian was a powerful personality who took on a difficult and challenging job. Through this, he never lost his sense of public purpose or his unflagging commitment to the country. On a personal level, he was empathetic and encouraging." Former Tanaiste and Health Minister Mary Harney

"He was colourful (in Cabinet). You could be talking about some issue and he'd refer back to a Milton poem or a 18th Century House of Lords judgment. His language and depth of knowledge meant he was very entertaining company, both in and out of Cabinet." Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

"He did feel let down by the banks. In the earlier part of his ministry he was totally and utterly misled, and the information was so far wide of the mark. He was a person who liked to be straight, direct and to the point, and he felt he wasn't given the proper information from the banks and that saddened him." Former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea

"Brian was very popular across the political divide and was much loved in his constituency and across the State." Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

"In placing his duty to the nation above his personal difficulties, Brian Lenihan has provided us with an outstanding example of public service. This is a loss which will be shared by many people across the political spectrum in Europe." EU Commissioner Olli Rehn

"Brian Lenihan's role as an advocate for the poorest and most vulnerable people in the developing world at a time of economic uncertainty at home was deeply admirable and has left a positive impact on countless lives." Chairman of Trocaire and Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby

"He was a true children's champion. He was a true friend of the alliance, and we will always be grateful for his passion, intellect and dedication to children's rights issues. Brian Lenihan gave us a helping hand that was above and beyond the call of duty." Chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, Senator Jillian van Turnhout

"A true parliamentarian, public representative and servant of the State, he handled his illness with courage, dignity and good humour while also carrying out his parliamentary duties at a particularly tough time in our nation's history." Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett

"Brian Lenihan was a strong and energetic Minister for Finance who acted patriotically to stabilise the State's finances in the face of unprecedented pressures. His quick intellect and grasp of constitutional detail made it a pleasure to conduct professional dealings with him. His death is a major loss to public life in Ireland." Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan

"Brian was somebody for whom I had tremendous regard, and at a personal level I always found him to be warm, good-humoured and convivial. As a minister, he went out of his way to make himself accessible and available, not just to his party colleagues, but to all members of the Dail." Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore

"As a member of one of Irish politics' most famous families, Brian Lenihan showed his unwavering commitment to the Irish public and his constituents by working through his illness. Our condolences are with his family at this very sad time." Chambers Ireland chief executive Ian Talbot

"I first knew Brian when he was a student at Trinity College Dublin. He was a brilliant scholar whose early promise as a student was fully vindicated in his subsequent career as a barrister and public representative. In their bereavement, I hope they (his family) will be able to draw some comfort from the knowledge that Brian lived a life of outstanding personal integrity and dedicated public service." President Mary McAleese

"His philosophy was, even in the aftermath of the diagnosis, to live life to the full, not to concede and not to give in. He was tested -- and tested hard -- but he played a stellar role in meeting the fiscal crisis head-on. When Ireland was in the eye of the storm, Brian Lenihan never faltered." Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin

"The fact that Brian Lenihan was the only Fianna Fail TD to be re-elected in Dublin in the last election speaks volumes about his abilities as a politician, and his qualities as a person. During my first days in the Dail, and from my first days as a government minister, Brian was a valuable source of advice and support. His willingness to cross the party divide in this manner highlights his personal warmth." Transport Minister, and constituency colleague, Leo Varadkar

"His positive approach to his illness at the same time as dealing with the difficult circumstances faced by the Irish economy was remarkable and my thoughts are with his family at this time. He was a patriotic Irishman doing the best for his country in difficult circumstances." UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne

"Many would have succumbed to the enormity of the problems he faced in his ministerial role in the fullness of their health. We did not agree with the approach he adopted but we always appreciated his integrity of purpose, application and commitment to the interests of the people of Ireland." SIPTU President Jack O’Connor

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