Irish minister battles cancer

IRISH finance minister Brian Lenihan will continue to implement his fiscal reform programme but will not perform non-essential tasks for months as he undergoes therapy for cancer, he said yesterday.

Lenihan, who has won praise from investors for halting Ireland’s steep budget deficit rise by presenting three budgets in just over a year, is understood to have pancreatic cancer.

He said a blockage including cancerous material had been identified at the entrance to his pancreas but that the organ was functioning normally and he was feeling fit and well.