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Lenihan is a politician of real substance


I was as opposed as anyone to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's approach to bailing out the banks by overpaying for their toxic loans. But that opposition never extended to questioning his integrity or dedication.

In fact, I had to acknowledge somewhat ruefully that there wasn't much in the way of alternative talent available for his position, particularly after the failure of the Green Party to stand up for their principles and oppose the NAMA legislation.

His decision to carry on in the face of his illness confirms his stature as one of the few people of real substance in Irish political life, a situation sadly emphasised also by the passing of Justin Keating. Let us hope Mr Lenihan makes a full recovery as quickly as possible.

The public response to his predicament is also quite a tribute to the maturity of the Irish people. The lack of bitterness directed at him in the wake of one of the most draconian Budgets of all time is quite remarkable.

Fianna Fail may have gotten us into an almighty mess, but they have also provided us with one of the few leaders who may be capable of leading us out of it, his mistaken approach to dealing with the banks notwithstanding.

Frank Schnittger
Blessington, Co Wicklow

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's statement on Monday showed personal honesty and a positive attitude in the face of his cancer diagnosis. He is an inspiration, accepting his illness with great courage.

May he find strength in the love of his family and the caring hearts of his friends and the public.

Ellen Fox-Lanigan
Tinahely, Co Wicklow

In response to Kevin Myers's article (Irish Independent, January 5) regarding TV3 and its report on St Stephen's Day of Brian Lenihan's illness, contrary to his assertion, it was not in the best interest of the nation. It was, in fact, a calculated ratings-enhancing exercise and typical media one-upmanship.

There should be some respect for individuals, no matter what their status in society, when it comes to sensitive medical matters.

The individual's feelings should be placed above the selfish journalistic mantra of "this breaking news was brought to you by. . ."

Kevin Muldoon
Clonkill, Mullingar

Irish Independent