Minister of national importance
DETERMINED: Brian Lenihan, right, with Taoiseach Brian Cowen, is said to be 'very upbeat'
THE last six months have been the most stressful in the tenure of any finance minister in the history of the State. Brian Lenihan has had to contend with the virtual collapse of the banking sector, culminating recently with the passage of legislation giving effect to Nama, the State's bad bank, the design of which was overseen by the minister to help restore financial viability to Ireland's banks.
He was also to the fore in facing down the militant trade union movement in the days and, indeed, hours leading to his Budget last month.