Wednesday 22 January 2020

Tributes paid to Hanafin - a raconteur dedicated to public life

Des O’Malley (left) and Des Hanafin at Leinster House in October 1982. Photo: Tom Burke
Des O’Malley (left) and Des Hanafin at Leinster House in October 1982. Photo: Tom Burke

Niall O'Connor

Michéal Martin has led tributes to former Fianna Fáil politician Des Hanafin following his death.

Mr Hanafin (86), from Thurles, Co Tipperary, is survived by his wife Mona, son John and daughter Mary.

Mary Hanafin is a former government minister and currently serves as a councillor for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, while John is a former senator.

Mr Hanafin was an outspoken businessman who was first elected to North Tipperary County Council in 1955, before serving as chairman. He was later elected to the Seanad in 1965, where he served with distinction.

Fianna Fáil leader Mr Martin said Mr Hanafin was dedicated to his political work.

"Des was a man steeped in politics and community who served as a member of Seanad Éireann and North Tipperary County Council for over 30 years," he said.

"His dedication to public service was passed on to both his children: John and Mary, who both went into public life serving as a senator and as a government minister respectively. I know that seeing both his children achieve high office was a source of great pride to him. I want to express my deepest sympathies to Des's loving wife Mona and to his children."

Mr Hanafin was known to hold conservative views on issues such as abortion. He was the honorary president of the Pro-Life Campaign and the group's spokesperson Cora Sherlock said: "Des was a great man who made an enormous contribution to public life. He was a wonderful raconteur and always tremendous company."

Irish Independent

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