Death of veteran Tipperary Fianna Fail party stalwart Des Hanafin

Death of veteran Tipperary Fianna Fail party stalwart Des Hanafin

The late Des Hanafin pictured with his wife Mona.


The death has taken place of veteran Tipperary Fianna Fail activist Des Hanafin.

Mr Hanafin, who was 86, was father of former government minister Mary Hanafin.

He had been a senator for over thirty years.

Fianna Fáil Leader, Micheál Martin has expressed his sadness at the passing of Mr Hanafin.

He said - “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 having first being elected to the County Council in 1955 and Seanad Éireann in 1965.

“His dedication to public service was passed onto 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’ loving wife, Mona and to his children, at this sad time".

The Pro Life Campaign has also expressed deep sadness at the death of its Honorary President, former senator Des Hanafin.

He was deeply conservative and was one of the key people behind the promotion of the Eighth Amendment. He also opposed the divorce referendum in 1995 and mounted an unsuccessful challenge in the Supreme Court to overturn it.

Although out of active politics in recent years he continued to support efforts to retain the Eighth Amendment and pledged to support that campaign.

 Commenting on hearing the news, PLC spokesperson Cora Sherlock said: “Des was a great man who made an enormous contribution to Irish public life. He was also a wonderful raconteur and always tremendous company. 

 “On the issues he is most identified with, he took his stand out of a deep personal conviction and went to great lengths to make his point without causing offence to others. He made no end of personal sacrifices in helping the pro-life cause and was always prepared to go the extra mile.

 “We are all very fortunate in the Pro Life Campaign to have known him so well and to have benefited from his advice and wisdom right up to the end of his life.

 “We extend our very deepest sympathies to his wife Mona, daughter Mary, son John and extended family and close friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."

Des Hanafin was born in Thurles. He was elected to North Tipperary County Council in 1955 and subsequently served as Chairman of the Council.

He was first elected to the Seanad in 1965 and held his seat until 1993 when he lost by one vote.

He won back the seat in 1997 and retired from politics in 2002.

He was a businessman and ran the Anner Hotel in Thurles in the 1960s.

Mr Hanafin is survived by his wife Mona, originally Mona Brady from Clonmel; son John and daughter Mary.