John Downing: 'Martin finally stamps his authority on rebels over foray to the North'
When the row erupted over the two Fianna Fáil rebels' 'Seán South of Garryowen-style' foray northwards last month, one of the duo, Éamon Ó Cuív, raised a little-known historical fact.
It turns out that the party's founder, who also happens to be Mr Ó Cuív's grandfather, successfully stood for a seat in the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont in November 1933. The history books show that Éamon de Valera won a seat for Down South, polling 7,404 votes to his only opponent's 500 votes.
Naturally, Dev did not take the seat in Belfast. But he was technically head of government in the southern jurisdiction, and a parliamentary deputy in the North, at a time when both political entities had turned their backs on one another and engaged in a long and grim cold war.