Friday 20 April 2018

From rising star to 'Lone Ranger'

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

LUCINDA Creighton topped the poll in Dublin South East just over two-and-a-half years ago – but her promising political career is now in jeopardy.

The 33-year-old grew up in Claremorris in Mayo, but it was in Dublin she built her political career. She was heavily involved in Young Fine Gael and in building up the party in Dublin colleges.

When she was in college, she was pro-choice, but she later said that she had been wrong because she had bought into the notion that "a foetus is simply an extension of a woman and not a person".

A barrister by trade, she was elected to Dublin City Council in 2004 and won a Dail seat in Dublin South East in 2007.

As a Fine Gael backbencher, she developed a reputation for being outspoken. She publicly attacked former president Mary McAleese for supporting Turkey's plan to join the EU, in a departure from political convention that the president's remarks are above politics.

She played a prominent role in the failed heave against Enda Kenny and infuriated him further with a speech criticising the party's corporate fundraising – saying there could be no room in Fine Gael for "cute-hoor politics".

It also led to a defamation case taken against her by Cork-based property developer Michael O'Flynn. As part of the confidential settlement, she apologised to Mr O'Flynn and his family and also agreed to pay a contribution towards his legal costs.

After her fallout with Mr Kenny, there was surprise when he appointed her as Junior Minister for European Affairs in 2011. But she worked hard to build up a rapport with him and is seen as having done a good job during the Irish EU Presidency.

Ms Creighton is married to Fine Gael Senator Paul Bradford. The two have spoken of their fondness for going horse riding in the Dublin mountains. But with Ms Creighton's decision to vote against the abortion bill, she has become a "Lone Ranger" in Fine Gael.

Irish Independent

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