Wife of former taoiseach Brian Cowen blasts Mary Hanafin over ard fheis comments

Mary Cowen, the wife of former taoiseach Brian Cowen, has blasted former Fianna Fáil minister Mary Hanafin on social media over comments she made in relation to last weekend’s ard fheis.

Ms Cowen, in a closed private discussion group for Fianna Fáil members, launched the attack on Ms Hanafin this week, saying she is trying to dictate party policy, though she is not a member of the Dáil. The Irish Examiner has confirmed Ms Cowen posted the criticism of Ms Hanafin in the online group.

Ms Cowen, or Mary Molloy Cowen, as she is named on Facebook, strongly criticised the current Blackrock councillor, claiming that party leader Micheál Martin should “watch his back”.

Ms Cowen also made a number of references to Ms Hanafin’s regular appearances on radio and in the media in recent days.

Ms Hanafin told a newspaper she had been approached by members, who said they wanted her to influence party policy.

However, in the private Facebook group, “The Official Fianna Fáil registered members discussion page”, Ms Cowen launched her attack on Ms Hanafin. It was posted to the group of 1,000 members yesterday evening, but has since been removed.

The Facebook post claimed Ms Hanafin is “not elected yet and she is running the party”.

Wife of former taoiseach Brian Cowen blasts Mary Hanafin over ard fheis comments

It adds: “Michael [sic] Martin better watch his back as there wouldn’t be to [sic] much loyalty there!!!!!!”

The comments drew responses from other members of the group.

In response to a comment from a member that Ms Hanafin is “never a team player”, Ms Cowen replies: “That’s for sure.”

Neither Ms Hanafin, nor Ms Cowen, responded to queries from the Irish Examiner.

There have been longstanding animosities between the Hanafin and Cowen camps. Ms Hanafin was demoted by Mr Cowen when he became taoiseach in May 2008 and she in turn became a vocal critic of Cowen’s style of leadership.

Ms Hanafin made very pointed criticisms of Mr Cowen’s decision making as leader in an RTÉ documentary, which angered many close to the former leader.


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