Wednesday 23 January 2019

Priest recalls tragic scenes at home as Brian slipped away

A PRIEST has spoken of the distress in the Lenihan family home as the former Minister for Finance passed away.

Fr Eugene Kennedy, chief celebrant at his funeral Mass and a friend to Mr Lenihan (52), described the scenes as very "upsetting" as Brian slipped into unconsciousness.

"I saw him in the week before he died, the Friday. He was in good, talking form," Fr Kennedy said today.

He also saw him a couple of times when he was unconscious, saying it was upsetting for everyone present.

"It's such a sad loss. He was a man of extraordinary talent. He will be sadly missed nationally and internationally," Fr Kennedy added.

He said Brian was a huge loss to the Dublin West constituency.

"Brian was our guy. He always had time."


Fr Kennedy paid tribute to the work Mr Lenihan put in to secure a new hospice for the Dublin 15 area.

Sadly, the politician himself was one of the first clients for the facility's homecare service. "The hospice will be a lasting memorial to him," the priest added.

"That's a monument to our guy. He never once looked for one ounce of media space or one ounce of credit," he said.

Fr Kennedy spoke of Brian's deep faith, saying he always brought a Bible with him on his travels.

Mr Lenihan also often slipped into St Mochta's Church, in Porterstown, during Holy Hour, praying with his head in his hands.

"Christian life was very important to him," Fr Kennedy said.

He pointed to the 9,000 people who queued to sign a book of condolence for Mr Lenihan in his Laurel Lodge constituency office as evidence of his popularity.

"He cared. He was a great human being," Fr Kennedy said.


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