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Former Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan dies aged 52

Thousands of people visited his Dublin constituency office and signed books of condolence nationwide as popular politician loses long battle against cancer.

Thousands of people visited his Dublin constituency office and signed books of condolence nationwide as popular politician loses long battle against cancer.

Mr Lenihan, who had been battling pancreatic cancer since December 2009, died at his home on June 10th 2011.

The President and Taoiseach led tributes to the former minister as thousands queued to sign books of condolence all across Ireland.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Mr Lenihan as a decent man and exemplary public servant: "In all of this time, Brian never once flinched from his public duties and he showed an unceasing and untiring commitment to tackling the economic crisis facing this country."

Brian Lenihan was part of one of Ireland's most famous political families. His father, Brian senior, was Tánaiste and a Fianna Fáil cabinet minister for over two decades. His grandfather, brother and aunt were also Fianna Fáil TDs.

A barrister, Mr Lenihan entered politics and was elected to the Dáil in 1996 for Dublin West. He served in the Cabinet in 2007 as Minister for Justice and one year later was promoted to Minister for Finance.

His time as Finance Minister was overshadowed by the Irish economic crash. Until Fianna Fáil was ousted from government in 2011, Mr Lenihan was responsible for the rescue of the Irish banks, the toughest budgets in the history of the State, and the IMF-EU bailout in November 2010.

Mr Lenihan's illness was revealed by TV3 in December 2009, prompting an intense debate on the intrusion of media into the private life of politicians. While many believed a Finance Minister receiving intensive chemotherapy treatment should not have been wrestling with the biggest economic crisis in the history of Ireland, others felt inspired by Mr Lenihan's determination and work ethic.

Despite the general discontent with the Fianna Fáil government, Brian Lenihan was the only Fianna Fáil TD out of 47 in Dublin to get re-elected in the 2011 general election. He then went on to become Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil and party spokesperson on Finance until his death.

Brian Lenihan is survived by his wife, Patricia, their two children, his mother, and three brothers and one sister.

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