Mary Hanafin Welcomed As New Head Of Tourism

Minister M.Hanifin With US President B.O'Bama

Thurles born Fianna Fail Minister Mary Hanafin has been given a new role in government, following Tuesday’s Government Cabinet  reshuffle.
Mary Hanafin takes over the post of Tourism, Culture, and Sport which was previously known as Arts, Sport and Tourism from Minister Martin Cullen, who resigned from government due to health problems.
Mary has represented the middle class constituency of Dun Laoghaire for some 13 years and has been a successful minister in the high-spending departments of education and, until this reshuffle, headed up the Department of Social and Family Affairs , latter which will be now known as the Department of Social Protection and will also now take over responsibility for the recently disgraced department known as FÁS.

Minister Hanafin is the daughter of former Senator Des Hanafin and his wife Mona, sister of Senator John Hanafin, and first cousin of North Tipperary County Councillor Seamus Hanafin.

Mary Hanafin, a 51-year-old former teacher and experienced politician, has rejected media and Fianna Fail backbenchers claims that suggest this new post is a demotion in her political career, but sees this move as an opportunity to develop and market Ireland properly, both at home and abroad.

In accepting the post she stressed the economic potential of culture, stating, “The day you lose sight of creativity, arts and culture, what this country is famous for, will be a very sad one, I intend to get out there and promote it.” she said.

Here in Thurles her acceptance of the Tourism post is greatly welcomed, in anticipation that funding in relation to Tourism will now not be more fairly distributed within the Shannon Region.  It is the opinion of the vast majority of interested tourism supporters in North Tipperary, that funding given to the Shannon Region ends up advertising the West of Ireland e.g. Clare, Limerick and the Shannon basin, at the expense of its poorer neighbouring towns like Thurles, Templemore and Roscrea.

Generally, Mary is regarded as a decent media performer and most certainly gives the impression of being considerably more competent at her job than some of her cabinet colleagues. This is borne out by the fact that when given the task of being the minister who oversaw cuts in Social Welfare payments, she  arrived at the other end relatively unscathed.


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