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Memories of man who had time for everyone

WHEN he had finished a local Fianna Fail cumann meeting upstairs in Myos pub in Castleknock, Brian Lenihan might pop downstairs for his favourite tipple -- a glass of red wine.

Yesterday pub manager Noel Murray, who often served him, said he would be greatly missed in the area. "He was a lovely man, very generous with his time," Mr Murray said, adding that he had done a lot for the local schools and clubs.

"He will be missed in the area, he crossed all the political divides. A lot of people were aware he was not well but it is still very sad," he said.

Wherever you went in Castleknock yesterday in the heart of the Dublin West constituency, locals reacted with shock and sorrow at their TD's passing.

In the shops and on the streets everyone had words of high praise for the man who had time for them all.

Butcher Eddie Walsh, who works in Sweeneys, where Mr Lenihan sometimes bought his meat, said: "An awful lot of people are shocked that it happened so quickly.

"A lot of people are disillusioned with politics but he was one of the best ones of the batch."

Derek Murphy, who works in the local greengrocer Get Fresh, fondly recalled how he used to joke with Mr Lenihan that there was a job there for him if ever times got really tough.

Mr Murphy said he used to come in for sunflower seeds, nuts or some root ginger, but even as he went about his weekly shop, he had time for anyone who stopped him.

"People would come away happy saying 'I think I got my message across'," Mr Murphy said.

Friends and local teachers Geraldine Timmons and Geraldine Curran also were full of admiration for their local politician.

"I knew him personally and at a business level," said Ms Timmons, adding that she found him charming.

"He absolutely loved to speak Irish and we often had a little jest 'as Gaeilge'".

Ms Curran said she had voted for Brian Lenihan last time out, even though she was not an FF supporter.

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