Sunday 22 April 2018

Wendy Grace: Woman of integrity did nation proud

Lucinda Creighton's stance was a boost for the pro-life movement and for her long-term career.

Wendy Grace

Loud cheers met Terence Flanagan, Peter Mathews and Peadar Toibin as they left Leinster House in the small hours of Friday morning. But one woman's star rose higher than all. She did not put in an appearance, but Lucinda Creighton, the woman who walked, was the new hero. If Lucinda had been a pro-choice woman defying a male-dominated party attempting to restrict abortion, she'd be an international superstar by now. Organisations would queue up to give her awards. She'd have to hire an agent.

Paradoxically, her lonely walk to the opposition benches may be the first step in a longer walk to ascendancy in Irish politics. Where do we look for politicians of integrity? Actually, we may just have found one.

The implications of her actions for the pro-life movement are massive. Traditionally on the back foot for supposedly trying to deny women the right to abortion, the moral authority has switched back to the pro-life movement. Its new symbolic head had paid the big political price – because she wanted to save two lives and not just one.

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