Brian Lenihan’s family seek legal advice on banking inquiry

Conor Lenihan ‘surprised’ at decision not to hear evidence from late minister’s relatives

Brian Lenihan’s brother, former TD and minister of state Conor Lenihan: “The matter is in the hands of my lawyer.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Brian Lenihan’s brother, former TD and minister of state Conor Lenihan: “The matter is in the hands of my lawyer.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The family of the late Brian Lenihan are seeking legal advice following the Oireachtas banking inquiry’s refusal to allow them to give evidence.

Mr Lenihan, who died in 2011, was minister for finance when the bank guarantee was introduced in 2008.

His brother, Conor, a former TD and minister of state, said he was “a bit surprised’’ by the inquiry’s decision. He added: “The matter is in the hands of my lawyer.”

The late Mr Lenihan’s aunt, former TD and minister Mary O’Rourke, said recently the family felt “the Lenihan voice should be heard in some fashion’’.

‘Be listened to’

It is understood the family is concerned and wants to ensure that no evidence which might damage Mr Lenihan’s legacy would go unchallenged.

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen, who is due to give evidence to the inquiry in July, insisted recently there was no question that he overruled Mr Lenihan when the then minister for finance reportedly argued Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide should be nationalised instead of including them in the State bank guarantee.

Overruled

Central BankPatrick Honohan

“It was not a question of being overruled,’’ said Mr Cowen. “Obviously, Brian had some views . . . we discussed them, we saw what had happened in the Northern Rock situation, so there were problems with nationalisation and there were problems with the guarantee.’’

Ms O’Rourke has said the family had not acted in response to Mr Cowen’s remarks and its legal letter seeking representation at the inquiry had been delivered before they were made.