Saturday 10 December 2016

Lucinda Creighton plays Sinn Fein card in battle for seat with Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell

Published 25/02/2016 | 23:55

Leader of Renua Ireland Lucinda Creighton TD
Leader of Renua Ireland Lucinda Creighton TD
Fine Gael candidate Kate O’Connell (pictured) has called on Renua leader Lucinda Creighton to publish all evidence in relation to the legal fees controversy in the interests of transparency and accountability. Photo: Arthur Carron

Lucinda Creighton is playing the Sinn Féin card as she seeks to fend off the challenge of Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell.

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Ms Creighton is up against Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil for the last two seats in Dublin Bay South.

But, in a new leaflet distributed tonight, the Renua leader mysteriously claims: “Various polls suggest I am in a direct battle with Sinn Féin for the last seat.”

The only official poll published in the constituency was in the Irish Independent, which did not show her in a direct battle with Sinn Féin.

The Millward Brown poll showed Fine Gael has Ms Creighton’s Dáil seat in their sights.

Fine Gael sources laughed at Ms Creighton’s claim, describing it as “desperate stuff”.

Fine Gael candidate Kate O’Connell (pictured) has called on Renua leader Lucinda Creighton to publish all evidence in relation to the legal fees controversy in the interests of transparency and accountability. Photo: Arthur Carron
Fine Gael candidate Kate O’Connell (pictured) has called on Renua leader Lucinda Creighton to publish all evidence in relation to the legal fees controversy in the interests of transparency and accountability. Photo: Arthur Carron

“I didn’t realise Slab Murphy was standing in Dublin Bay South,” a source said.

Ms Creighton does not identify the “various polls” she is citing.

She is in a do-or-die battle with three other candidates for the final two seats in the constituency.

However, the poll showed Sinn Féin’s Chris Andrews well ahead of this quartet.

Fine Gael’s Eoghan Murphy is leading the race on 20pc, followed by Mr Andrews, the former Fianna Fáil TD, was on 17pc.

Ms Creighton is then on 13pc alongside Labour Party minister Kevin Humphreys, while Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan is on 11pc and Ms O’Connell is on 10pc.

In another leaflet Ms Creighton sent to her constituents, she categorically states Enda Kenny will be the next Taoiseach.

The former Fine Gael minister, who has a fractious relationship with Mr Kenny, delivered the message to thousands of homes.

It reminds voters of her work as a Fine Gael councillor and minister.

“Enda Kenny will be the next Taoiseach, but what type of government do you want to serve with him?” she asks.

Ms Creighton adds that she can be “a watchdog in government” with Mr Kenny “to provide security for the elderly, reduce income taxes, and fight against political cronyism”.

She has previously said Fine Gael is actively pouring money into its candidates Ms Murphy and Ms O’Connell in an effort to oust her from the Dáil.

Ms Creighton suffered a blow to her election campaign when the State’s ethics watchdog refused her request to issue a public statement on the controversy surrounding her legal fees.

As she awaits the outcome of the Sipo complaint, Ms Creighton is being challenged by Ms O’Connell to reveal her legal costs publicly to prove she did not breach any standards in public office rules. Ms Creighton wrote to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) asking the watchdog to publicly state its position on a complaint it received about legal fees she incurred during a High Court case.

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