Tuesday 16 January 2018

Eamon O’Cuiv to stay in Fianna Fail but agrees not to push No vote in treaty

THE former deputy leader of Fianna Fail Eamon O’Cuiv said today he will remain a member of Fianna Fail, the party founded by his grandfather Eamon de Valera.

But he has also agreed not to campaign in favour of a No vote in the fiscal compact treaty - he has come out against it in the past and has clashed with the Fianna Fail leadership over it.

"This is one of the most difficult decisions in my political career," Mr O'Cuiv said adding that he wouldn't be making any more pronouncements on the treaty.

"There has been some speculation in recent times as to whether I would ever join another party.

"I would like to make it clear once and for all that I see no other party other than Fianna Fail that represents my political views."

He was told last week not to make public comment against the May 31 referendum vote and to avoid campaigning for the No side.

It is understood he received a letter at the weekend from party whip Sean O Fearghail asking him to refrain from media interviews against the treaty.

The move followed party leader Micheal Martin signalling last week that Mr O Cuiv would not be disciplined for breaking party ranks after he indicated to colleagues he would not canvass or debate for a No vote.

Mr O Cuiv, a former minister, said in February that he would be voting against the treaty and resigned as deputy leader and communications spokesman.

The Galway West TD has described the European deal agreed by the Government, and supported by Fianna Fail, as very bad for Ireland.

Mr O Cuiv also clashed with Mr Martin in recent weeks over a separate issue, when he claimed Sinn Fein would be a preferred coalition partner for Fianna Fail.

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