Saturday 24 March 2018

Brian's death leaves a gaping hole in public life

Maurice Hayes

Maurice Hayes

IN any Irish version of profiles in courage, Brian Lenihan must command a chapter to himself as a man who bravely faced death while equally courageously carrying the heavy responsibility of one of the highest offices of State at a time of unprecedented economic and political turmoil.

That he should have lost his battle against a deadly disease is a matter of sorrow not only to his family and friends but to the plain people of Ireland who respected his bravery, his commitment, his concern for others, and his determination to carry out his official duties while undergoing a debilitating and testing regime of medical treatment.

Whether his efforts to save the economy and rescue the national finances prove to be equally ill-fated is a matter that the next months and years will determine, but there is no doubting the courage of the man who took decisions in the heat of battle, who did not resile from his responsibilities, and who did not, as he might honourably have done, take the easier path of retirement on health grounds.

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