Fianna Fáil chief Micheál Martin insists the party is in favour of a yes vote in the EU treaty referendum — despite his former deputy leader backing the no side.
Ex-Cabinet minister Éamon Ó Cuív broke ranks to attack the fiscal compact treaty as the yes side finally started to get into gear on the issue.
Fianna Fáil has said no disciplinary action will be taken against Mr Ó Cuív — effectively forced to quit as deputy leader earlier this year due to his views on Europe — in the wake of the no call.
He branded Fianna Fáil’s reasons for backing a yes vote as “weak” and warned that Ireland would not be able to alter the conditions it would sign up to by endorsing the treaty.
Mr Martin told RTÉ there “could be no upside to voting no”, and was confident all other Fianna Fáil TDs would back the treaty. “I think if you vote no, you run the risk of a more accelerated pace of austerity than we are currently experiencing, because you create an insecure and uncertain scenario in terms of our capacity to access funds.”
Mr Martin said he also disagreed with Mr Ó Cuív’s claim that Sinn Féin would be Fianna Fáil’s preferred future coalition partners after the next general election.
Mr Martin said there had been “a fundamental dishonesty” from Sinn Féin about the Provisional IRA campaign of violence, adding that the party had “prolonged suffering across the island”.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams branded the remarks an “outrageous attack”, saying Mr Martin was trying to deflect attention away from his split with Mr Ó Cuív.
“The irony of Deputy Martin using an Easter commemoration at Arbour Hill to launch an attack on republicans will be lost on very few,” Mr Adams said.
Fianna Fáil said disciplinary action would only be taken against Mr Ó Cuív if he voted against the party in the Dáil.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved