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A successful woman who leaves politics to Gilmore

THE chief executive officer of Dun Laoghaire VEC oversees an organisation with a staff of 500 that commands a multi-million euro annual budget and caters for more than 2,500 pupils.

Search the media archives for the name 'Carol Hanney' and just one public comment dating to June 2007 will flash up.

The once-off interview in a local Dublin newspaper, by the then principal of St Thomas's Community College, concerned proposals to change the Leaving Certificate timetable.

Originally from Killimor in Galway, Ms Hanney met Eamon Gilmore in University College Galway in the early 1970s.

Both became active in the students union and took the reins of power -- he as president and she as secretary -- in 1974.

They married within a few years of graduating.

They are parents to two sons, Oisin and Sean, and a daughter, Grainne and live in the Corbawn area of Shankhill.

Their daughter came to brief public attention when she joined a lawyers's group that called for a 'Yes' vote in the Lisbon Treaty.

But in general the family guard their privacy very carefully, with Ms Hanney shunning all political functions, canvasses and campaigning.

Last November, the Irish Independent reported that Ms Hanney obtained half a million euro from the State for a site in 2007 which she inherited from her mother.

The site was purchased for a school, and another €10,000 received for a smaller adjoining site needed for a hurling pitch.

Ms Hanney has never commented on the controversy. At the time, her husband said: "This is land Carol inherited from her late mother. She was approached by the board of management of the school to make the site available. It was publicly advertised by the OPW (Office of Public Works) and independently valued."

Irish Independent