Dev’s grandson steps down as deputy leader of Fianna Fail…

Hmmmm…. Eamon O’Cuiv the Eurosceptic wind of the Fianna Fail party in Eurosceptic west has now gone from his position as Deputy Leader and Communications spokesman, but not from the party, yet. So. No creative ambiguity under Mr Martin?? But, here’s the intriguing thing: Fergal Keane on RTE Drivetime speculating that he is close Sinn Fein.

Update: Martin telling Mary Wilson that O’Cuiv is not backing down and is looking at losing the whip.

Update 2 O’Cuiv denies on Newstalk that he has plans to move all the way to Sinn Fein…

Adds: Johnny Fallon has a nicely drawn historic take on the matter:

But O’Cuiv and all the De Valeras have had a hesitancy about the EU for some time. Self sufficiency and small nations staying out of the affairs of larger ones remain strong traditions. Ireland happily plotting its own course maybe with a few maidens less at the crossroads these days but still there as a vision.

Had the government been able to avoid a referendum this matter would never have been an issue for O’Cuiv. Alas he should have known as Deputy Leader of FF he would not get away with that and forced to make a choice between family and party he has gone with the family tradition. Another deputy leader down.

  • Coll Ciotach

    I thought Martin sacked him?

  • Mick Fealty

    THere’s two versions. Dev Og says he offered his resignation two days earlier… But it sounds like he was told when to go yesterday.

  • From the Indo:

    Speaking on the steps of Leinster House, Mr O Cuiv revealed that he had been forced out.

    “The leader asked me to resign because we had a fundamental policy difference,” he said. “He also told me I was to vacate my position on the frontbench and I accept that.”

    He also unleashed an attack on German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

    “In the last year in particular, it seems that Europe is being run by Merkel and Sarkozy,” he said.

    and on the banks:

    He blamed German banks for lending to Irish banks who then lent recklessly.

    No sense of national or personal responsibility ..

  • wee buns

    O Cuiv categorically denies that he shares enough with SF to get cozy, his position being not exactly to advocate a NO vote, but to threaten such while renegotiating the terms & conditions of ‘our’ debt – yes yes – better late than never Eamonn….

    Negotiations which FG claims to be earnestly engaged in – a claim which already limp suddenly looks very lame indeed – the proof/results of their efforts seem to be missing.

    O Cuiv stated that Martin’s position is to ratify the treaty without reservation.

    He has massive public support for this shift – could this be the wing tip of a FF phoenix?

  • michael-mcivor

    Just in time for this weekends Fianna Fail party conference-

    if any other big hitters are going to support O Cuiv this is where it will be made public- maybe some of them want O Cuiv has there new O C-

  • Coll Ciotach

    Seems fair enough point to me Nevin. If the Irish banks are being blamed for irresponsible lending then the German banks share the blame. They jumped on the bandwagon too. The subsidising of German Banks using the Irish public as a proxy and charging them extortionate rates is wrong.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    It’s simply incorrect to describe Eamon O Cuiv as ‘Eurosceptic.’ Can you point to anything in his record that substantiates that epithet?

    Is it now the case that wanting what’s best for your own country is, ipso facto, Euroscepticism?

    If so, doesn’t this imply that the relationship between the EU and its various states has become a zero-sum game?

  • SDLP supporter

    Billy P

    O Cuiv has gone on record to acknowledge that he voted against joining the Common Market away back in 1973 and that he voted ‘No’ in the first Nice Treaty referendum. So, I think it’s fair to describe him as ‘Eurosceptic’.

    He has little credibility on the issue as he was part of the cabinet that approved the bank bailout in 2008, including the disgraceful Anglo Irish Bank package. Also, as part of the government, he must bear collective responsibility for the regulatory failure to oversee and rein in the banks.

    Ah well, he can use Bertie’s excuse that nobody told him the economy was going down the tubes.


  • Billy Pilgrim

    Fair enough. Didn’t know about his opposition to Nice.

    But, as you point out, his record in government, including his presence in the government that agreed the bailout, is not that of a ‘Eurosceptic.’

    It might be fair to say that he has a couple of blemishes in a forty-year record that, otherwise, fits in quite well with the extreme Europhilia of the Irish political establishment.

    But is that what we’re calling ‘Eurosceptic’ nowadays.

  • SDLP supporter

    Billy P

    Being a nodding donkey at the cabinet table and accepting the lies of corrupt Irish Bankers and uncritically accepting the advice of a number of buck-incompetent and grossly-overpaid Irish Department of Finance officials in September 2008 is not evidence of “Europhilia”. It’s just evidence of collective incompetence in the cabinet of the time.

    There is no contradiction between standing up for Irish national interests, which an Irish cabinet minister is obliged to do, and support for the European ideal and an “ever closer Europe”.

    Apparently, one of O Cuiv’s reasons for quitting is that Merkel and Sarkozy took decisions without reference to other EU heads of government. Hmm, remember all the demands for them to “show leadership”? Can’t have it both ways.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    There is no INHERENT contradiction between standing up for Irish national interests and support for the European ideal and an “ever closer Europe”. Indeed, the two went hand-in-hand for several decades.

    But that’s over, now.

    One should never mistake one for the other, or assume that they’re the same.

    You’re correct re. O Cuiv. But even being a nodding dog was enough to falsify the ‘Eurosceptic’ tag. It was pro-European policies he was nodding along with.

    Now, fair enough, maybe he wasn’t and isn’t a true believer, a committed Euro idealogue.

    But again: is that what we’re calling ‘Eurosceptic’ nowadays?

  • Greenflag

    ‘If the Irish banks are being blamed for irresponsible lending then the German banks share the blame. They jumped on the bandwagon too.’

    Don’t restrict ‘irresponsible ‘ lending to the Irish and Germans -You can also include the French , Americans , British ,Icelandic , Greek , and several other countrie’s banks and not to forget their aiding and abetting elected politicians from all sides of the political spectrum who preferred to turn a blind eye to what was going on.