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FACTBOX: New Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan

(Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen named justice minister Brian Lenihan on Wednesday to succeed him in the post of finance minister.

Here are some facts about Lenihan:

* Born in Dublin in 1959, Lenihan was educated at Trinity College Dublin and Cambridge University. A lawyer by training, Lenihan has also worked as a lecturer in law at Trinity.

* He was first elected to the Dail (lower chamber) in a 1996 by-election after the death of his father Brian. He has previously held junior ministerial posts including health.

* Lenihan hails from a political dynasty. His father had served as Ireland’s deputy prime minister and his brother Conor is a junior minister.

* He had previously chaired parliament’s constitutional committee which tackled sensitive areas such as considering changes to Ireland’s abortion laws.

* With little known experience in finance, Lenihan is considered a safe pair of hands and a trusted ally of Cowen.

Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Andras Gergely