What has happened to Eamon O Cuiv in the past year that has him throwing off all the old shackles of conformity and has him coming across as a latter day revolutionary? It is as if he surrendered himself to stylist Gok Wan for a political makeover on How To Look Good Naked, and when he was stripped down from his traditional dark suit, he uncovered underneath the Kryptonite garments of a political superhero that has him shooting for the stars.
Maybe it was the rejection by Prince Harry of Padraig Conneely’s visitorial advances that has sparked Commonwealth-loving Eamon into action, saying what he wants and not giving a damn about the consequences á la the Kevin Spacey character in American Beauty.
Without the shackles of power, O Cuiv has come across as a firebrand, just at a time when FF leader Micheal Martin least needed one. Initially dismissed as being akin to those Japanese soldiers who came out of the jungle eight years after the war ended, O Cuiv is increasingly becoming an enigma and there has been an increased analysis of O Cuiv’s behaviour in the past few weeks. Nationally, it is being perceived as being a shot across the bow of Martin, with a view to letting him know that, come the local elections of 2014, the time may be ripe for a change of leadership and that the chiefs-in-waiting such as Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath may not have a free run to the top job after all.
With one eye on 2016, the symbolic significance of O Cuiv being at the helm of the party is not lost on him either. The fact that he is making glad eyes at Sinn Fein too is interesting, and is perhaps an indication that he is already identifying the local threats to his plans and getting his retaliation in first. Even his recent mischievous praise of Fidelma Healy Eames was most unlike the O Cuiv we know. Or thought we knew.
Already the support on the ground for O Cuiv is growing and with half of FF voters inclined to vote No to the fiscal treaty, there is fertile ground to be ploughed for an O Cuiv power base.
If you remember back through the years, there were always indications that O Cuiv was a bit of a radical, capable of coming out at any time with a statement that would seem at odds with the collective thinking of his party. So we ought not be surprised at this sort of ‘coming out.’
Galway West has traditionally had some Shakespearean drama playing out on its political fields, right from the days of Bobby, the Donnellans, Michael D and now when it seemed that our local politics would be carried out away from the glare of the national media, this happens and Eamon O Cuiv brings it right back into the limelight.
The O Cuiv saga is interesting and is worthy of being monitored.