The late Des Hanafin
The death has occurred of former Fianna Fail Senator Des Hanafin.
Mr. Hanafin, who lived on the Dublin Road in Thurles, passed away earlier today.
He had served as a member of Seanad Eireann and on North Tipperary County Council for over 30 years.
The tributes have been led today by Fianna Fáil Leader, Micheál Martin who expressed his sadness at Mr. Hanafin's passing, at the age of 86.
“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", said Mr. Martin.
He was elected a member of North Tipperary County Council in 1955 and was subsequently elected Chairman of the County Council in 1956, the youngest Chairman in the Council's history.
He was first elected to Seanad Éireann in 1965 and retained his seat until the 1993 Seanad election at which he lost his seat by one vote. He regained his seat at the 1997 Elections and retired from politics in 2002. He unsuccessfully contested the 1977 and 1981 Dáil elections for the Tipperary North constituency. He was a chief fundraiser of the Fianna Fáil party for many years.
Mr. Hanafin was one of the promoters of the constitutional amendment that enshrined the legal ban on abortion in the Constitution of Ireland. He also opposed the legalisation of divorce, which was introduced in 1995.
He is survived by his wife Mona, nee Brady of Clonmel, his daughter, former Minister Mary Hanafin, son former Senator John Hanafin, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Funeral arrangements will be announced as they come to hand.