Monday 20 November 2017

Political world pays tribute at Des Hanafin funeral

Mary Hanafin with her mother, Mona, at the funeral of her father, Des Hanafin, at Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Mary Hanafin with her mother, Mona, at the funeral of her father, Des Hanafin, at Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Conor Kane

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was among mourners at the funeral of long-serving senator, party fundraiser and Pro Life Campaign president Des Hanafin.

Mr Hanafin, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 86, was a member of the Seanad for 30 years and was succeeded on his retirement by his son, John Hanafin, while his daughter Mary Hanafin is a former education minister. The siblings and mother Mona led the mourners at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles, Co Tipperary, for the funeral Mass.

Former Progressive Democrats leader Mary Harney. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Former Progressive Democrats leader Mary Harney. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Mr Hanafin was remembered as a businessman, politician, campaigner, and family man.

Mary told the congregation that, the day before he died, the family enjoyed lunch together in the Anner Hotel, a hotel founded and once owned by her father.

She mentioned the ups and downs of her father's life, including overcoming alcoholism and several illnesses and injuries.

But what kept him going, Mary Hanafin said, was "the will of God, his own absolute, undying will to live, and the love and care of Mona".

Ex-Fianna Fáil politician Ray MacSharry. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ex-Fianna Fáil politician Ray MacSharry. Picture: Fergal Phillips

He said in the memoirs he recently began writing, but which will now not be finished, that: "Mona was good in good times and she was great in bad times."

Attendees included former ministers Ray McSharry, Gerry Collins, Michael Smith, Martin Mansergh, Pat Carey, Ned O'Keeffe and Mary Harney; as well as TDs Seán Haughey, Bobby Aylward, Thomas Byrne, Éamon Ó Cuív, Jackie Cahill, Michael Lowry, and former TDs Máire Hoctor, Sean Power, and Noel Coonan.

Also present were cathaoirleach of the Seanad Denis O'Donovan, Senator Ned O'Sullivan, former senator Averil Power and Irish Independent editor Fionnán Sheahan, former 'Irish Times' editor Geraldine Kennedy, patron of the Iona Institute Breda O'Brien, and Tipperary County Council CEO Joe MacGrath.

President Higgins and the Taoiseach were represented by their aides-de-camp.

Mr Hanafin was laid to rest at St Patrick's Cemetery.

Irish Independent

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