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Fianna Fail's women at war

FIANNA Fail’s women were at war today as party ‘Godmother’ Mary O’Rourke launched a tirade against Minister Mary Hanafin.

Mrs O’Rourke likened the Dublin Minister to a “prim aunt”.

The insult came as Ms Hanafin was widely criticised for bottling it in the heave against Brian Cowen.

Former minister Mary O'Rourke used the bizarre analogy to describe a TV appearance by her colleague.

It also emerged today that Brian Cowen had a “slam dunk” two-to-one win in the leadership contest, according to an FF insider.

“It showed that Brian Lenihan lost his nerve. He was being advised badly and then lost his nerve.

“There was a small coterie of Lenihan rebels including an outside adviser who got it all wrong,” said a Cowen ally today.

Deputy O'Rourke – Brian Lenihan’s aunt – meanwhile said today that she was disappointed by the lack of rancour at last night's debate.

“I would have like a bit of blood and thunder myself,” the Longrford/Westmeath TD said.

She has spoken out against the Taoiseach in recent weeks but backed him in the crucial vote because it was “far too late” to change.

Mary Hanafin felt the ire of her often stinging attacks when she was compared to a character from a Terence Rattigan play.

Deputy O'Rourke was reviewing her performance on RTE's Frontline show.

Minister Hanafin was on the programme with other politicians who will be contesting the so-called constituency of death in Dun Laoghaire.

She said: “You had the pater familias Seán Barrett looking good and speaking sensible.

“You had prim aunt Mary doing her thing very well.

“You had Barry (Andrews) who has found his voice and his mojo too doing very well,” Ms O'Rourke said.