Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

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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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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