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Lagarde certain that history will be kind to 'absolutely heroic' Brian Lenihan

Books of condolences have opened across the country as the favourite to be the next head of the IMF hails the former Minister for Finance who died on Friday.

Christine Lagarde with Lenihan in 2008.
Christine Lagarde with Lenihan in 2008.
Image: Yves Logghe/AP/Press Association Images

THE FAVOURITE TO be the next managing director of the IMF has hailed the way in which Brian Lenihan served as Ireland’s Minister for Finance even as he was battling the cancer which led to his death last week.

Lenihan will be buried in Dublin tomorrow as tributes have poured in from former ministerial and Dáil colleagues as well as counterparts across Europe including Lagarde.

Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week programme yesterday, Lagarde said she had been “really saddened” by Lenihan’s death:

I can’t think of anybody who did not like Brian.

Lagarde recalled how she would often converse with Lenihan in French even despite her impeccable English, remarking earlier that he “liked the language and liked France”.

Speaking to This Week yesterday, she added:

As the minister for economy and finance for the country, he was absolutely heroic in the sense that he was calm, he was solid, he was very analytical when we had major issues, and from the day when he announced that he had cancer, he just kept going.
I’m certain that history will be kind to him.

Meanwhile, books of condolences have opened at Government buildings in Dublin for the Fianna Fáil TD. They will be available to members of the public until 6pm this evening.

Books of condolences are also available at the civic offices in Athlone in Co Westmeath from 10am until 4pm each day until next Friday. A book of condolences will also be opened at Limerick City Hall from 12 noon today.

Members of the public who can’t make it to any of those venues are invited to sign the online book of condolences on the Fianna Fáil website.

Lenihan’s remains are today lying in repose at Jennings Funeral Home in Blanchardstown in west Dublin before a removal to St Mochta’s Church in Porterstown at 6pm this evening.

The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at 11am and Lenihan will be laid to rest afterwards in a private burial in St David’s graveyard, Kilsallaghan.

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