Funeral of former FF senator Des Hanafin in Tipperary

Mary Hanafin spoke of her father’s ups and down, including overcoming alcoholism

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was one of many present and former politicians who joined mourners at Sunday’s funeral of long-serving senator, party fundraiser and Pro Life Campaign president Des Hanafin.

Mr Hanafin, who died on Thursday aged 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 TD and former minister for education.

They and their mother Mona led the mourners at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles for the funeral Mass, which was attended by hundreds of people from the wider Co Tipperary community and across the country.

Along with Mr Martin, others from the political world to attend included former ministers Ray McSharry, Gerry Collins, Michael Smith, Martin Mansergh, Pat Carey, Ned O’Keeffe, former tánaiste Mary Harney, TDs Seán Haughey, Bobby Aylward, Thomas Byrne and Michael Lowry, cathaoirleach of the Seanad Denis O’Donovan, Senator Ned O’Sullivan, former Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy, and columnist and patron of the Iona Institute Breda O’Brien.



President Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp Cmdt Louise Connellan and the taoiseach Leo Varadkar was represented his his aide-de-camp Lt Ciarán Carey.

Mary Hanafin spoke of the ups and downs of her father’s life, including overcoming alcoholism which took a severe car crash to spur him into action and several illnesses and injuries. But what kept him going for so long were, she said, “the will of God, his own absolute, undying will to live, and the love and care of Mona, 60 years by his side”.

Among the symbols of his life brought to the altar during the ceremony were a copy of the constitution, a newspaper and book to reflect his love of reading, a CD, a Papal award he received from Pope John Paul II, and his unfinished memoirs.

Burial took place afterwards at St Patrick’s Cemetery in Thurles, where Eamon Ó Cuív delivered a graveside oration.