Jude Collins

Friday, 2 March 2012

Et tu, O Cuiv?

Fianna Fail must be feeling terrible. Or maybe in a perverse way relieved. When you've been slaughtered at the polls and now the grandson of your party's founder, Dev, the man who wrote the bloody constitution that those damned Fine Gael and Labour lot are now getting ready to  tamper with  - what does he do? He takes out a dagger three days before your Ard Fheis and plunges it into your present leader's back. As your man in the Seanad said, he wasn't the first de Valera to shoot a Corkman in the back.

Eamon O Cuiv may not have the drive and power of his grandfather, that drive which took him from a death sentence in 1916 to the Presidential office in the 1960s. He may not have the cunning and charisma that made Dev a demi-divinity for generations of Irish people (my mother, God be good to her, used to sing as she did her never-ending housework, and one of her favourites ended with the un-republican line "And we'll crown de Valera King of Iiiiirrre-land!"  Confused political thinking but  no mistaking the emotion and admiration. Eamon O Cuiv may not have that, but he did hold his seat when dozens of other FFers were losing theirs last time out, and he does look and sound unnervingly like his granda. So when  he says he can't support the Fianna Fail line in going  along with this latest European diktat, and the Ard Fheis is only hours away, and there's bound to be  some support  in the ranks for O Cuiv's insistence that the south get a write-down of its debt mountain if it's going to vote Yes to Angela Merkel's latest wheeze - when all that happens together, you begin to worry. No, wrong. Your worry, which  was there all along as the Shinners assumed the mantle of opposition - that worry deepens with a sickening lurch.  Not content with the mugging it got from the electorate, Fianna Fail now look set to mug themselves. And there'll be live TV coverage of it, like as not.

Will there be sympathy for that nice Micheal Martin?  Pull the other one. Tens of thousands will be hoping, praying that O Cuiv doesn't mince his words and the tearing sound of what's left of Fianna Fail splitting down the middle will be heard throughout the land.

 What was that saying again? Oh yes. "Revenge is a dish best served cold". Switch on your TV.

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