Finance Minister Brain Lenihan, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over the holidays, has planned a busy year ahead of him and has said his diagnosis should not interfere with his position in government.

While Lenihan plans to make a detailed statement about his health on Monday, he told the Sunday independent that the calendar has been favorable to him as he faces challenges in both his professional and personal life.

“Fortunately in the Department of Finance the first half of the year is quieter than the second and so that will give me a chance to undergo a course of treatment in anticipation of a full recovery," Lenihan told the Sunday Independent.

Lenihan does not foresee any more emergency budgets before the next one, which is planned for December,

"The exchequer returns are out next Tuesday and I expect some slight improvement in the tax returns for the month of December," continued Lenihan.

"I am glad to see that there was more spending in the retail economy this Christmas than last year, as far as can be judged."

Former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan