Thursday 8 December 2016

Wife of former Taoiseach in surprise attack on Fianna Fail's Mary Hanafin

Niall O'Connor and Philip Ryan

Published 20/01/2016 | 14:19

Brian Cowen with former cabinet colleagues Micheal Martin and Mary Hanafin
Brian Cowen with former cabinet colleagues Micheal Martin and Mary Hanafin
Mary Hanafin

The wife of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has launched a surprise attack on Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Hanafin following remarks she made in relation to the party's Ard Fheis.

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Mary Cowen strongly criticised the former minister on Facebook, claiming that party leader Micheal Martin should "watch his back".

Mrs Cowen also made a number of references to Ms Hanafin's regular appearances on radio and in the media in recent days.

But she zoned in on remarks made by Ms Hanafin, the former Education Minister, in relation to the Árd Fheis.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his wife Mary
Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his wife Mary

Earlier this week, Ms Hanafin told the Irish Independent that she had been approached by grassroots members who said they wanted her to influence party policy.

Read more: Hanafin: FF members have called on me to 'influence' party policy

On a private Fianna Fáil Facebook discussion page, which has almost 1400 members, Ms Cowen criticised the remarks.

"Have just read the Irish Independent and I see an article about Mary Hanifin (sic) stating that Fianna Fáil members have called on her to influence party policy."

The Facebook post continues, claiming that Ms Hanafin is “not elected yet and she is running the party”.

And it adds:

“Michael Martin better watch his back as there wouldn’t be to (sic) much loyalty there!!!!!!”

Ms Cowen further criticised Ms Hanafin in comments attached to the post.

“She seems to be getting plenty of air and press time,” she says.

And in response to a comment from a member that Ms Hanafin is “never a team player”, Ms Cowen replies: “That’s for sure”.

When contacted today, Ms Hanafin said she did not wish to comment.

Ms Cowen could not be reached for comment but independent.ie has verified the authenticity of the messages.

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