Fianna Fail is in turmoil over the Presidential election again after senator Labhras O Murchu sought a nomination and deputy leader Eamon O Cuiv threatened to quit at a fractious meeting.

Matters came to a head at a six hour meeting of the FF parliamentary party on Thursday night when leader Micheal Martin’s authority was seriously undermined according to witnesses.

No decision was taken on the party’s role in the Presidential election with O Murchu told that he will find out next week if FF will back his nomination.

Martin’s attempts to keep Fianna Fail out of the election altogether failed miserably with his motion to that effect prompting a row between O Murchu’s supporters and those siding with the party leader.

O'Cuiv then told the meeting that he would ‘find it difficult’ to remain on as party leader if Martin’s proposal was supported.

One Fianna Fail deputy said afterwards: “Martin’s damaged by all of this. The parliamentary party is split 50:50.”


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Another high ranking Fianna Fail member told reporters outside the meeting that it had descended into a ‘complete bitchfest’.

Another said: “The whole thing is a f***ing disaster. It was a bitter enough meeting. The atmosphere wasn’t the best.”

O Cuiv declined to comment on the meeting. He said: “I do not discuss what happens at parliamentary party meetings.”

O Murchu has agreed to wait until next week’s decision but claims to have the backing of six independent deputies and senators.

“It was a good, comprehensive debate,” said O Murchu. “I am not looking for an endorsement from the party. I think people should be helped to get into the race.”