Friday 28 October 2016

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and rebel Eamon O Cuiv try to mend fences

Published 02/04/2015 | 15:16

Micheal Martin
Micheal Martin

EMBATTLED Fail leader Micheal Martin and long-time party rebel, Eamon O Cuiv, had a lengthy meeting in efforts to end their differences.

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Party sources said it was about “mending fences and cooling things down” after a difficult week internally for the party’s 20 TDs and 13 Senators.

“It was a ‘clear-the-air meeting’ and extremely helpful,” the party source said.

Earlier, Mr O Cuiv spoke on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s, Adhmhaidin, programme.  He said morale was low in Fianna Fáil and that he had meeting which lasted an hour and a half with party leader Micheál Martin on Wednesday night.

Mr Ó Cuív said he outlined his concerns to the party leader, and there was an exchange of views in relation to the direction in which the party was going.

Asked if he wanted to lead Fianna Fail, Deputy Ó Cuív replied that this was not a leadership issue.

"What is breaking my heart is that the party has not made more progress because Fianna Fáil has an important role in Irish politics. Our opinions differ on what is needed by the party in order to make some progress, but that is natural in any party," Deputy O Cuiv said.

At Leinster House Mr O Cuiv said he had said all he was going to say on the matter to Raidio na Gaeltachta.

Mr O Cuiv, Fianna Fail TD for Galway West, and grandson of the party founder Eamon de Valera, told the Sunday Independent last weekend that the believed that party morale was extremely low with “an absolute collapse in self-belief."

The former party deputy leader said there was more fight in Fianna Fail in 2011 and 2012 than there is currently.

The Galway TD’s comments came as a new Red C opinion poll put Fianna Fail again failing to break past the 20pc mark, with support for the party on just 18pc.

"If we continue to poll at 18pc, this will see the demise of that Fianna Fail that people know. Fianna Fail will instead become a small niche party like the SDLP," he told the Sunday Independent.

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