Micheal Martin has refused to cancel his family holiday in West Cork as a presidential row engulfs Fianna Fail after Cork European Parliament deputy Brian Crowley officially cancelled his interest in running for the Aras.
Crowley accused Martin of a lack of support when he announced he would not be putting his name forward to run on behalf of the beleaguered party in the October election.
Martin’s fellow Corkman was scathing in his attack on the party leader but Martin’s camp has dismissed the incident as a storm in a tea-cup.
Senior party officials have also confirmed to the Irish Independent that it is highly unlikely that Fianna Fail will run any candidate to replace Mary McAleese.
And the party’s presidential election sub-committee will meet on Monday to decide if it will back an independent candidate as speculation grows that retired RTE commentator Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh will announce on Friday that he is not going to contest the election.
The six strong sub-committee will look for a unanimous decision on Monday before meeting the Fianna Fail parliamentary party in Dublin next Wednesday.
Deputy leader Éamon Ó Cuív is one of the few Fianna Fail leaders keen to contest the election but said his decision on whether he will run will depend on decisions of the parliamentary party.
“There are two opinions within the party about this election, there’s no doubt about that,” said O Cuiv.
“We’re a party with a particular outlook and a particular stance and, in cases like that, parties usually field a candidate.
“From the outset, I was in favor of fielding a candidate, however, I will accept the majority decision on the matter.
“That’s to say, if in the end the majority are against fielding a candidate, as a member of the party I will accept that decision and, equally, those against fielding a candidate will accept the final majority decision, if that is to field a candidate.”
Sub-committee member and Kildare South deputy Sean Ó Fearghail believes the party should wait to see what independent candidates are in before deciding who to support.
“There’s a growing untidiness about the whole business, it’s been dragging on,” he admitted.