Hanafin: Ruthless, arrogant – and stupid

Fianna Fail TD Mary Hanafin, one of the most ruthless politicians in the country, was challenged on Frontline (Monday, 17th Jan) on who she was backing in the heave.

Pat Kenny: Brian Lenihan has indicated that before the meeting tomorrow night he will indicate his thinking.

Hanafin: And I’ll do the same thing.

Later in the programme a caller made another challenge.

Tell Mary Hanafin to get off the fence…to show some leadership or backbone.

Hanafin put on her most arrogant face and dismissively issued a one word reply.


Hanafin was, of course, lying. She didn’t reveal who she was backing until it was forced out of her by media pressure on Wednesday.

Here’s a flavour of how this ethical/principles free politician responded to media questioning.

I was never going to be part of a heave, if there was going to be a heave I was not going to be party to that.

But you said you would address the parliamentary meeting and reveal your stance, you didn’t do that.

I think it was obvious to people that I would vote according with my views, so I chose to vote in secret.

I was not part of the campaign that was going on. It was a motion of confidence, it wasn’t a leadership contest, it wasn’t about coming out in favour of one person or the other. If it had been then I might have been active and actually canvassing for one person or another but it wasn’t.

So having not expressed confidence in the Taoiseach how can you sit around the Cabinet table over the next two months?

Because it wasn’t about confidence in the Taoiseach, the motion was very specifically about the leader of Fianna Fail.

Do you have confidence in him as Fianna Fail leader?

Yes I do, I’m a party person and I have always said whoever the leader of my party is I am very happy to support that person.

This level of hypocrisy, even by the extremely low standards of Fianna Fail, would be difficult to surpass.

Hanafin’s actions also demonstrate how operating within a corrupt political culture can reduce the political mind to pure stupidity.

Instead of retaining her credibility by openly and honestly challenging Cowen which would have put her in a good position to win leadership of Fianna Fail Hanafin opted for two more months of having her arse ferried around in a state car.

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