Lucinda puts Enda right on FG membership
Published 20/02/2014 | 02:30
LUCINDA Creighton says she has yet to make a decision on renewing her membership of Fine Gael for another year.
Fine Gael members have to renew their annual party membership in the next 10 weeks.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny told Ms Creighton yesterday he was "delighted" to see she had renewed her party membership.
But Ms Creighton said she had not yet renewed her membership.
"I understood you have," Mr Kenny replied in the Dail.
"The Taoiseach is misinformed, not that it is at all relevant to the point I raised," Ms Creighton retorted.
Later, Ms Creighton told the Irish Independent she had not renewed her membership so far.
"No, I haven't made any decision on that yet," she said.
She is due to make a decision on the matter following her expulsion from the Fine Gael parliamentary party and setting up of the Reform Alliance.
Ms Creighton and her fellow Fine Gael rebels will have to indicate they want to remain party members for 2014 into 2015 – by paying a €15 fee.
Attitudes are believed to have hardened within Fine Gael to the rebels, due to the Reform Alliance's increased activity and criticism of the Government, but there is little appetite to kick them out.
The rebels will have to renew their membership by the end of April.
Despite setting up the Reform Alliance and developing alternative policies, Ms Creighton and most of the abortion legislation exiles are still members of Fine Gael.
A motion tabled in Ms Creighton's Dublin South-East constituency, urging her not to renew her membership, was dismissed at a meeting a fortnight ago after a 30-minute discussion.
The Reform Alliance members are expected to be formally contacted by their branches in the coming months, requesting them to pay their €15 membership fee.
The annual renewal of membership will come up for the first time since the vote against the abortion legislation last summer.
The approach of the Reform Alliance members to their membership is being watched closely and is the subject of some speculation in the party. Peter Mathews is no longer a party member in Dublin South after quitting.
Denis Naughten remains close to the party in Roscommon, as his brother is a councillor, but his membership is understood to have lapsed after he resigned the whip two years ago.
Ms Creighton is a member of the Donnybrook branch.