Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Payback time' is sweet - Mary Hanafin challenges Fianna Fail general secretary to Ice Bucket Challenge

Sam Griffin and Mark McConville

Former Minister and Fianna Fail deputy leader Mary Hanafin has challenged her party’s general secretary Sean Dorgan to do the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ insisting she “owed him one”.

The local Cllr for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown issued the challenge today while taking part in the endurance test in aid of the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMNDA) in Trinity College alongside politicians, professors and perished students.

Ms Hanafin and Mr Dorgan’s frosty relationship was thrown into the spotlight when the Fianna Fail general secretary attempted to take back the former minister’s candidacy papers in an effort to stop her running in May’s local elections.

The event, performed in in the main square in the Dublin University, was organised by the Trinity College Neurology Department which is leading research into the illness, along with the IMNDA.

The association receives €1 out of every €4 donated as part of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ and members of the Association also took part in the challenge, including the CEO Aisling Farrell as well as Prof Orla Hardiman who is leading Trinity College’s researcher into motor neuron disease and is a consultant neurologist at Beaumont Hospital.

Also taking part in the challenge were a number of politicians who had all been nominated to take part including TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Rosin Shortall, Joe Costello, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Gabrielle McFadden, as well as MEP Mairead McGuinness and Senators Ivana Bacik and Cait Keane.

Following the challenge, which Ms Hanafin did in honour of her cousin June Culliton who passed away lost month from the illness, also challenged the Editor in Chief of the Irish Daily Mail Sebastian Hamilton with whom the Cllr has been in a long- running spat, as well as Mr Dorgan.

“Ok this is payback time. So Sean Dorgan, general secretary of Fianna Fail, I owe you one,” she told

TD Gabrielle Mc Fadden, who took her late sister Nicky’s Dail seat following her tragic passing from motor neuron disease in March this year, paid tribute to Prof Hardiman who treated Nicky McFadden during her illness.

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