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A decent man

• The criticism of Brian Lenihan expressed by Joe Curran (Letters, June 12) -- and, in particular, his accusation that the former minister is responsible for "running this country over the cliff" -- is both inaccurate and unfair.

Contrary to popular wisdom, the bank guarantee issued in September 2008 is not the root cause of our economic problems.

This point was made repeatedly by Brian Lenihan during 2009 and 2010, in that bank recapitalisation would have been required regardless of whether or not the guarantee had been issued.

Events since September 2008 have shown this to be the case.

More recently, the Spanish authorities have chosen to recapitalise their banks, despite never having issued a guarantee, and having had three years to consider alternative responses to a banking crisis that is virtually identical to the one experienced here.

It is also worth noting that Brian Lenihan was forced to deal with a banking crisis before anyone even knew what a banking crisis was, and that he was faced with the constant threat that one wrong move could result in a catastrophe far greater than the one we have experienced to date.

Having shown great courage in discharging his duties in the face of personal tragedy, Mr Lenihan's legacy deserves to be considered in this light, rather than on the basis of slogans and pub talk, which has been the case thus far.

Garreth McDaid
Drumleague, Leitrim village,
Co Leitrim

Irish Independent