Éamon Ó Cuív faces expulsion from the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party if he refuses to refrain from advocating a no vote in the EU fiscal treaty referendum.
The Galway West TD looked increasingly isolated last night after the party decided to haul him in for questioning over his decision to ignore party orders by campaigning for a no vote.
The party’s frontbench met yesterday and raised concerns about Mr Ó Cuív’s decision in recent days to side with the no campaign on the airwaves.
Party whip Sean O’Fearghail will quiz Mr Ó Cuív about his plans for the weeks ahead and whether they will conflict with Fianna Fáil’s campaign for a yes vote, which will be launched tomorrow.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will then decide what to do, a party spokesman said last night.
Mr Ó Cuív, grandson of Fianna Fáil founder Éamon de Valera, has said in recent days that he will campaign for a no vote and that he “couldn’t do otherwise” because of the stance he had taken on the treaty.
A party spokesman last night confirmed the party whip would meet Mr Ó Cuív in the coming days.
He added: “There is a unanimous view for a yes vote on the frontbench. Mr Ó Cuív will be asked what his plans are and if he intends campaigning against the party.”
Mr Martin will then be informed of the talks and a further meeting of the frontbench could then decide Mr Ó Cuív’s fate.
He already could face expulsion from the party if he does not vote with Fianna Fáil in the Dáil.
The decision to quiz the former minister comes after Mr Martin admitted he was disappointed with his party colleague’s decision.
Mr Ó Cuív has already resigned as deputy party leader and from the frontbench. He also annoyed party officials over the weekend by claiming Sinn Féin were the preferred choice as coalition partners in any future government.
A senior Fianna Fáil source said last night: “There can’t be two views canvassed by the party. It’s in his court, it’s for Eamon to decide what to do. It’s up to him if he wants to stay in the parliamentary party or not. If not, it’s a [tight] rope he’ll walk himself.”
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