Saturday 17 November 2018

Éamon O Cuív sacked from Fianna Fáil front bench over Northern Ireland 'election unveiling'

Eamon O Cuiv (Niall Carson/PA)
Eamon O Cuiv (Niall Carson/PA)
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Eamon Ó Cuív has been sacked from the Fianna Fail front bench over his involvement in unveiling a candidate in a Northern Ireland election without the party’s permission.

Yesterday, Kerry Senator Mark Daly was stripped of his title as Fianna Fail’s deputy leader in the Seanad for his role in the event. Mr Daly also lost his title of Fianna Fail’s Seanad spokesperson on Foreign Affairs.

Mr Daly along with Fianna Fail TD Eamon Ó Cuív used an event in Tyrone to unveil former Sinn Fein councillor Sorcha McAnespy as the party’s first election candidate in the North.

Soon after the unveiling, Fianna Fail issued a statement saying no decision had been made to put forward candidates for next year’s Northern Ireland local elections.

Launch: Fianna Fail’s Eamon O Cuiv TD (left) and Senator Mark Daly (right) with Sorcha McAnespy in Omagh last week. Photo: PA
Launch: Fianna Fail’s Eamon O Cuiv TD (left) and Senator Mark Daly (right) with Sorcha McAnespy in Omagh last week. Photo: PA

In a statement this evening, Fianna Fail said: "Party Leader and Spokesperson on Northern Ireland Micheál Martin TD met last evening with Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív. 

"During the course of that meeting Deputy Ó Cuív made it clear that he was aware in advance of plans to hold an unauthorised launch of a candidate and agreed to participate in the event. 

"In light of this information, regretfully, Deputy Ó Cuív’s continued membership of the Party’s Front Bench is no longer tenable. His portfolio responsibilities will be reassigned in the time ahead."

Mr Ó Cuív, whose grandfather Eamon De Valera was a founding member of Fianna Fail, has been a TD since 1992.  

He held a number of ministries during his long career as a Fianna Fail TD.

In recent time, he has clashed with Mr Martin on a number issues such as the presidential elections and the possibility of Fianna Fail forming government coalition with Sinn Fein.

In comment posted in Irish on Twitter, Mr Ó Cuív said he accepts it is Mr Martin’s decision to choose who is on the Fianna Fail frontbench.

"I refer to decision of Micheal Martin to remove me from the frontbench," he said.

"I accept that it is a matter for him alone to choose who will be on the Front bench of Fianna Fail.

"I won’t be making any additional comment on this issue and the media should direct any questions on the subject to the Fianna Fail party," he added.

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