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Dublin: 17°C Thursday 23 September 2021

Pat Rabbitte thinks Mary Hanafin is like something out of Grimm's Fairy Tales

Hanafin, a former Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil, caused a major headache for the party this week when she refused to withdraw from the local election race in Dublin.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER PAT Rabbitte gave the nation an interesting insight into his sleeping habits this afternoon, as he took part in a radio discussion on the Mary Hanafin local elections controversy.

Hanafin, a former Minister and Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil, created a major political problem for current party leader Michéal Martin this week when she openly defied his instructions and opted to stay in the race for a seat on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council.

Fianna Fáil’s Ard Comhairle is now investigating the party’s botched attempt to run her as a candidate, and the former TD could theoretically be expelled.

However, Micheál Martin’s not the only political veteran to have been given a headache by Hanafin’s attempted political comeback, it appears…


“I used to read a lot of Grimm’s Fairy Tales when I was very small,” Rabbitte told Saturday with Claire Byrne this afternoon after listening to Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley deal with questions on the affair.

Anytime I’ve a couple of pints and don’t sleep too well some of the characters come back to haunt me

“And when I heard Mary Hanafin on the radio again I said ‘oh my God, this reminds me of the terrible things that happened to our country’ and do we have to listen to her again?”

Dooley, who is the Fianna Fáil Director of Elections for the European vote on 23 May, insisted that the issue was not being raised by members of the public on the doorsteps “with the exception of one or two witty encounters”.

Battle of Blackrock

Hanafin was initially approached by the party last week and agreed to run in the Blackrock ward, where Kate Feeney had already been selected as the FF candidate.

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She was contacted again by the party late last Friday and asked to withdraw from the contest, but went ahead and lodged her officially sanctioned nomination papers the next day anyway — hoping the matter could be smoothed out over the long weekend.

Noon on Tuesday was the deadline to withdraw that nomination, but she declined to do so — despite being asked three times by Martin. In a radio interview, Hanafin said she hadn’t been given a good enough reason to withdraw.

“The party leader and the Fianna Fáil organisation has made it very clear,” Dooley insisted today.

There is one candidate today that has been selected. Kate Feeney will have the capacity to contest as the only Fianna Fáil candidate in the Blackrock ward.

He said the ard comhairle would compile its report on the matter “in due course”.

Read: No third time lucky for Micheál Martin as the Mary Hanafin debacle adds to Fianna Fáil woes

Read: It’s on: Hanafin staying in race, despite Martin asking her three times to withdraw

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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