Talk:Mary Harney

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Controversy section (moved from article until sources/references can be provided)[edit]

I just moved this off the main page until references can be provided. I have inserted {{fact}} where I think references are needed (a lot).


Harney has been involved in lots of scandal [citation needed]and has often been accused of being out of touch with the Irish public[citation needed]. In December 2001, Harney used a Government plane which was 50% funded by the European Commission to open a friends off license in Co. Leitrim, [citation needed] describing the event as "important" [citation needed]. Harney, at first, refused to apologise [citation needed] to the Irish tax payer stating that she had no other way to travel that day until the European Commission became involved, she later admitted that using the plane was wrong [citation needed]. The aircraft was to be used 90pc of the time exclusively for maritime surveillance [citation needed].

In May 2006, the Irish Nurses Organisation unanimously passed a motion of no confidence in the Tánaiste and Minister for Health, Mary Harney [citation needed]. They accused her of being negative and antagonistic towards nurses [citation needed] and criticised her for their long working hours on what they described as un-competitive pay rights [citation needed]. Liam Doran, General Secretary of the INO pleaded with Harney to "speak with" and not "at" the nurses [citation needed]. The nurses and others, including, Economics and Social Care lecturer Tom O'Connor have accused Harney of favouring private hospitals as she transferred private beds in public hospitals to privately operated for profit hospitals [citation needed].

In Feburary 2006, three hundred people were waiting on hospital trolleys according to the Irish Independent, worse than the figure the previous year, this many see as an indication of Harney's approach to the Irish health service[citation needed].

Megapixie 01:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Generally sounds factual (can remember the controversies) but blown a bit out of proportion and also the fact that two of the controversies are five years apart speaks volumes. Would need references in any case as specific points are made. Djegan 17:55, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the update Djegan, appreciate it, glad to see the PD's are keeping an eye on integraty for a change. Surely, though, you should have removed the whole article as nothing else has been referenced????? Colindk 21:20, 22 June 2006


I have removed the following from the main page until proper references can be provided. I feel it only fair that all parts of the article need to be referenced and not just those that point out certain areas of criticism relating to Mrs Harney. In fact, until this page offered some criticism to Mrs Harney, there was no such demand for references. I have provided references for all areas of criticism that I have brought attention too, I think it is now important that the below two points in particular are referenced, I think to say that Mrs Harney presided over any boom in the Irish economy is absurd.

Generally when specific claims are made, that are not generally known in public or are quotations, then they should be referenced. In particular this official policy of wikipedia Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden of evidence in biographies of living persons. Djegan 22:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

"As Minister she presided over a boom in the Irish economy which resulted in a record number of jobs being created."

Prob a bit over the top but must be remembered that also Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 1997 to 2004. Djegan 22:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

"something of a poisoned chalice in Irish politics"

Take your pick[1], [2], [3] and [4]. Just a few. Referencing is not about citing every sentence in a cold, clinical way. Theirs a certain amount of initiative and checks and balance involved. Djegan 21:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I think it goes without saying that the recent reviews to this article and this sudden need to expose the controversies surrounding the Taniste must be considered with the recent heave against her that has being reported in the media[5]. Wikipedia should not be a propaganda site for political means. Djegan 21:20, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah, seems some political opponents of Ms. Harney have discovered this article. I've removed a lot of unbalanced criticism, biased commentary and just plain lies — for example that the Irish health service is Europe's "second worst" when in fact the survey only dealt with something called "consumer friendliness". Also the bit where they mentioned the allegation about her mother skipping the queue, without mentioning Harney's emphatic denial of the claim. Demiurge 14:40, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I note you said that her tenure as health minister has been met with mixed results, but only left the two negative comments regarding her achievements or lack of. How is this mixed? Colindk20:09, 25 August 2006

Exactly, it shouldnt be a propaganda site for political means it should be balanced which is what I'm trying to do with this article. Also to link me to McDowell is absurd, as an Irish Republican, I detest what that man stands for. Colindk 22:55, 5 July 2006


Amongst other things, Harney is notable for being the heaviest female member of the Irish parliament. Can her obesity be noted in the article? Curtains99 10:13, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

  • No. Unencyclopaedic, unverifiable and irrelevant. Demiurge 14:42, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
  • not really, she is minster for health after all unsigned comment by 14:48, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Harney's department of health and children has set up the National Taskforce on Obesity to formulate policy on what is officially considered a very serious health problem in Ireland. Surprisingly, the reports of this group are delivered not by Harney but by the Taoiseach. For example have a look at this. Is this because obesity advice would not be well receieved from the lips of Mrs H? I think we certainly have relevance. There is an issue of verifiability. Does anyone have a verifiable source for her weight? She is photographed extremely frequently and clearly her height-to-width ratio is unusually low. Photos like this appear in the press every day, indicating that her circumference is at least twice that of a healthy person of her height. As for unencyclopaedic, I have no idea why obesity would be considered unencyclopaedic, when the article about Napoleon contains a paragraph on his height. Curtains99 16:46, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm looking into this for you, there was a comment made by a journalist regarding her weight before and how as Minister for Health she sets a bad example.. However, really, with obesity set to be the biggest health problem of the next decade, as Minister for Health she could start to tackle her obesity and make a positive example.


Her obesity is verifiable without having to obtain her BMI. Check out this paper wherein the medical researchers conclude that obesity can be determined robustly just by looking at people. Fancy that. Curtains99 21:15, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
On second thoughts, wikipedia is not the place for original research (WP:OR. There would have to be a source from a journalist or similar to include any information on Harney's obesity. (and a blog entry doesn't count) Curtains99 09:52, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
The article about the former king of Tonga mentions his extraordinary weight (over 200kg), as did the BBC in its reports on his death. 18:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Maybe she could apply for the king's job if there's a vacancy now? In any case here's your reference in Medicine Weekly discussing how a minister for health with responsibility for obesity, that kills 5 times more people than road accidents, is apparently herself obese and unwilling to comment on this health problem. Curtains99 12:14, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Also in the Sunday Mirror, check out: Mary makes light of flab fighting job Curtains99 13:54, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

How much does she weigh anyway? something between 300 and 400kg? if we could find an exact, recent figure we should put it in the article (talk) 11:22, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


I just reverted a note added by an ip that she resigned per WP:BLP this needs to be cited (it might be true for all I know) - can someone provide a source ? Megapixie 00:09, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Sources have now been added. Curtains99 09:06, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Fuzzy photo[edit]

Is it just my computer, or is the photo of Harney very fuzzy? Perhaps a better on could be found? --BwB (talk) 14:33, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

NO comments on the photo? --BweeB (talk) 13:20, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

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