Fianna Fail is down to just 10 percent in the latest opinion polls – as deputy party leader Eamon O Cuiv threatens to lead a breakaway.
The former government Minister, currently embroiled in a bitter row with leader Micheal Martin, makes the threat in a TV programme to be broadcast on Tuesday.
O Cuiv, grandson of FF founder Eamonn De Valera, makes the startling claim that a new party could be formed in the TV3 documentary The Rise and Fall of Fianna Fail.
“I think we served the country well. I believe that market, that view, that idea that Fianna Fail represented has to be in Irish politics,” claims O Cuiv.
“And if it’s not possible to do it under the name Fianna Fail, well, then we’ll have to do it under some other name - but the ideal lives on and that’s the important thing.”
The TV documentary will be aired after a Fianna Fail parliamentary party on Tuesday designed to make a final decision on the party’s approach to the Presidential election.
The FF leader and O Cuiv are at loggerheads over the issue with Martin adamant that the party should have nothing to do with next month’s poll.
The latest Sunday Independent poll, which has FF at just 10 percent support, has suggested the party should back controversial senator David Norris in his bid to become President.
O Cuiv, who believes the party should contest the election, is set for another showdown with Martin if his TV comments are anything to go by.
He also told TV3: “Is Fianna Fail so damaged by the label of corruption, by the label of big business, builders and bankers - a lot of which has nothing to do with the membership of the Fianna Fail I know - that it is a really seriously damaged brand?
“You know, the thought does enter my mind - are we going to be forever damaged by the actions of the few? If that were so, maybe we have to look at a new way forward for the very, very same ideals.”
Former senator Eoghan Harris believes Fianna Fail should now support Norris in his latest bid to secure a nomination for the Presidential election.
“Fianna Fail have nothing to lose by backing David Norris, they have the world to gain,” said Harris on Irish radio.
“Fianna Fail is clinically insane if they don’t back David Norris.”