Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Eamon O Cuiv first floated the possibility of the Republic rejoining the Commonwealth as a conciliatory gesture to unionists in 1994. Last night, he said the issue had not come before the Government and he was giving a personal view. He said he had no difficulty with a United Ireland being in the Commonwealth. Mr O Cuiv, a grandson of Eamon de Valera, said he did not want to pre-empt government thinking but it was a fact that even in the '30s and '40s, the Commonwealth was not a major issue of principle for Fianna Fail. "It was not Fianna Fail which took this country out of the Commonwealth," he said. "It was John A Costello who did that."