Belfast Telegraph

Senator in row over O Cuiv comment

A senator has compared Eamon O Cuiv's move to break party ranks to the shooting of Michael Collins.

Fine Gael's Tom Sheahan caused outrage over his remarks about Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, who forced deputy leader Mr O Cuiv's resignation on Wednesday.

"Deputy Martin isn't the first Cork man to be shot in the back by a de Valera," said Mr Sheahan.

Mr O Cuiv is the grandson of Ireland's first taoiseach and Fianna Fail founder Eamonn de Valera.

The senator was forced to withdraw his comment, which one member described as outrageous. "That was 90 years ago," another member shouted.

Mr Sheahan finally agreed to withdraw the statement, which he admitted caused offence.

Cork-born revolutionary Michael Collins was shot dead in a Civil War gun battle in 1922. His killer was never identified but some have speculated through history that Mr de Valera ordered his assassination.

Mr O Cuiv was forced to give up his deputy leadership and faces expulsion from Fianna Fail following a row with Mr Martin over the European fiscal treaty. The Galway West TD refused to toe the party line and hinted that he would vote against Ireland ratifying the EU deal, hours after Mr Martin said the party would campaign for a Yes vote.

Mr O Cuiv said the party should have taken its time to consider its pro-Europe stance and that Ireland should seek a write-down of its debts, incurred through reckless lending of European banks.

It is understood Mr Martin is considering abolishing the deputy leader position within Fianna Fail.

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