Tuesday 24 October 2017

Willie O'Dea: Full of life, he was a true people's man

The statesman's passing is a devastating loss to all who had the privilege of knowing him, writes Wille O'Dea

Brian Lenihan was a man of superb intellect with a massive store of knowledge. He was hugely read and very erudite, but he wore it lightly.

Many of my colleagues at the Bar wondered what he was doing in politics -- he sacrificed a huge drop in his standard of living to go into politics, but he was more interested in public service than self-service.

I did ask him when the story came out about his illness why he wanted to continue in a very stressful job as Finance Minister. His answer was: "There's something growing inside me and I'm determine to beat it -- but what would I be doing, sitting at home, listening to Mozart and thinking about dying?"

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