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Éamon Ó Cuív resigns as Fianna Fáil deputy leader

The former minister said to continue in his role as deputy leader and communications spokesperson while he did not support the fiscal compact treaty ratification “would be incompatible for me.”

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

FIANNA FÁIL TD Éamon Ó Cuív has resigned as deputy leader and party spokesperson on communications this evening over his refusal to support the party’s position on the EU Fiscal Compact treaty.

Ó Cuív had indicated earlier today that he had not yet decided which way he would vote in the upcoming referendum despite his party indicating it would support a ‘Yes’ vote.

“This whole issue is about the fundamental future of Ireland,” Ó Cuív told the Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM this evening, saying he would not vote in favour of the treaty. “I believe in this case, we’re making the wrong decision for Ireland,” he added.

The former Environment Minister said to continue in his role while he did not support the fiscal compact ratification “would be incompatible for me” citing “irreconcilable” differences with party leader Micheál Martin.

“What I am saying is, and my policy on this issue was that before we vote at all, that the government should be told quite clearly to go back to Europe and not come back with any referendum until we sort out the regulation of the financial sector from Brussels,” he said.

“The second thing we need is absolute guarantees on the CCCTB (Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base) and on the corporation tax rate – that’s two forms of corporation tax.

“And we need more fundamentally than anything that the European countries whose banks lent utterly recklessly take their share of the burden of what happened in Ireland.”

The Galway West TD said that this was a “unique” opportunity to put these demands to the EU in light of what he saw as the need of the EU for Ireland to ratify the fiscal compact.

The grandson of Fianna Fáil founder Eamon De Valera said that he remains in the parliamentary party and intends to be at the Ard Fheis this weekend. Ó Cuív will automatically lose the party whip if he votes no when the fiscal compact referendum legislation comes before the Dáil.

Martin said in a statement that it was no longer possible under the circumstances for Ó Cuív, a former government minister, to continue in his role as the party deputy leader and spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

“Éamon’s refusal to support the Parliamentary Party’s position on the Fiscal Compact meant that it was no longer feasible for him to occupy these roles,” Martin said in a statement tonight.

“As the Party prepares for a momentous Ard Fheis this weekend, it is my hope that Éamon will continue to work for Fianna Fáil’s renewal as he has done over the last twelve months.

“Our Party has led Ireland’s positive and constructive engagement with Europe for generations and I am determined that it continues in this proud tradition.”

Ó Cuív raises possibility of losing FF whip over referendum vote

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Hugh O'Connell

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