Irish finance minister Michael Noonan, 71, told a Dublin press conference yesterday that he has cancer. Noonan said he expected to make a full recovery after recent surgery to remove a tumor. In a further press conference he stated he would keep his job and run in the next election.

Noonan, a key figure in shaping Ireland’s economic revival, stated that he had skin cancer and a mass had been removed from near his shoulder.

He also stated he had extensive chemotherapy over a five week period.

Noonan has been a minister in every Fine Gael-led government since 1982, serving in the cabinets of Garret FitzGerald, John Bruton and Enda Kenny and was party leader in 2002 when Fine Gael failed to reach government.

During these terms of office he held the positions of Minister for Justice, Minister for Industry and Commerce and Minister for Health. When Fine Gael lost power after the 1997 general election Noonan remained an important figure in the party, taking over as Spokesperson on Finance.