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Fianna Fáil won't comment as Ó Cuív weighs up future in party

The former Fianna Fáil deputy leader will indicate whether or not he will remain in the party his grandfather founded later today.

Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL HAS declined to comment on the future of its former deputy leader Éamon Ó Cuív who has said that he is to make a decision about his future in the party later today.

The former government minister has said that he has been asked to refrain from commenting on the EU Fiscal Compact referendum in the media after it emerged that he intends to vote No, against the intentions of his party.

Ó Cuív resigned as the party’s communications spokesperson and deputy leader in February after it emerged that he would not support the party’s position on the referendum.

He has said, according to the Irish Times this morning, that a letter from party whip Seán Ó Fearghail, whom he met last week, has presented him with a “monumental decision” over whether or not to remain in the party that was founded by his grandfather Éamon de Valera.

The letter reportedly states that it is not feasible for a party member to campaign as they wish against the parliamentary party’s adopted position. Fianna Fáil has indicated that the letter does not warn of expulsion from the party.

Neither Ó Cuív nor Ó Fearghail could be reached for comment this morning.

Nonetheless it is likely that Ó Cuív will issue a statement later today in which he will make his intentions clear. Fianna Fáil declined to comment when contacted this morning.

A grandson of De Valera, the former environment minister was first elected to the Dáil for Galway West in 1992.

It is not the first time he has voted no in a European referendum having done so in the Nice treaty referendum in 2001 which was defeated despite support from the government parties.

The TD has said that rejection of the current Fiscal Compact would allow for a renegotiation of the treaty and the treaties governing the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism in order to make them more favourable to smaller countries such as Ireland.

He told Today FM in February: “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.”

Read: Ó Cuív breaks ranks to advocate No vote in Fiscal Compact

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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