Saturday 7 December 2019

Rebel clinches a deal with the Devil

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

DEDICATED blogger, staunch environmentalist and all-weather cyclist Ciaran Cuffe last night joined the ranks of those he once loved to hate.

The ardent Fianna Fail critic has been plucked from the safety of the backbenches and cast as one of three new junior ministers in the Fianna Fail-led Government.

It marks an end to his position as the most vocal of the anti-Fianna Failers within the party's higher ranks, an end to the rotation deal with his party leader John Gormley and an end to his online blog 'Cuffe Street' as we've come to know it.

Home to regular rants, rhymes and reasonings, the blog has allowed the 47-year-old former architect to occasionally contradict agreed party lines and cast himself as the rebel on whom frustrated Green Party grassroots could rely to stir up occasional trouble.

"Let's be clear. A deal with Fianna Fail would be a deal with the Devil," he famously wrote during protracted negotiations between the Greens and Fianna Fail over a coalition deal in 2007.

"We would be spat out after five years, and decimated as a Party. But would it be worth it?"

In the intervening two years, Mr Cuffe's dislike for Fianna Fail has mellowed. The only exception of course was an interview last year in which he referred to his coalition partners as "gobsh***s".

Having become involved in politics as far back as the 1970s, when he marched to save the Viking settlement at Wood Quay, Mr Cuffe is intent on retaining his seat in the next election and leaving his mark on Irish green policy.

Since joining the Green Party in 1982, and serving as a Dublin city councillor between 1991 to 2003, he has had to patiently wait for promotion to the big stakes.

His supporters lobbied intensively and successfully for him to land his new position.

Irish Independent

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