O Cuiv outlines reasons not to run for presidency

Fianna Fáil TD says he would ‘not do anything’ that would force him to leave the party

In a letter to councillors in Galway, Deputy Eamon O Cuív said he would not do anything that would force him to leave Fianna Fáil. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

In a letter to councillors in Galway, Deputy Eamon O Cuív said he would not do anything that would force him to leave Fianna Fáil. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív has said he is declining offers to run for the presidency as he would “not do anything” that would force him to leave his party or “cause division”.

In a letter sent to Fianna Fáil Galway county councillors, the Galway West TD has described an offer by them in July to nominate him as “generous and flattering”.

However, he has outlined four reasons for declining, including the “clear indication by Fianna Fáil spokespersons” that “even if Fianna Fáil councillors supported a county council nomination” that the nominee would be “forced out of the party and would have to stand as an independent”.

Mr Ó Cuív said he had been a member of Fianna Fáil in Galway West for over 40 years and had served at “all levels” and “worked tirelessly for the party and the country, nationally and in Galway”.

“As you can understand, I would not do anything that would force me to leave the party at this time or cause division in the party,”he wrote.

He said he had also stated publicly that he would not run if President Higgins was standing again, and believed it was “important to abide by that statement”.

He said he felt he could still play an important role in advocating and working through Fianna Fáil for a “better way forward” at a time of many challenges facing people, from housing to health.

He said important progress had also been made in working with prisoners in both the North and this jurisdiction, and he was committed to continuing for as long as he could make a “useful contribution”.

Party supporters had said last month that they believed Mr Ó Cuív wanted Micheál Martin’s decision not to stand a presidential candidate to be re-opened at the party’s “think-in” in Malahide, Dublin, next week. Mr O Cuív’s letter sent to councillors on Friday rules this out.