| 7.7°C Dublin

From saddle to EU debating chamber

HOW does she fit it all in?

Lucinda Creighton – the Minister for European Affairs – is able to include horse riding in the Dublin hills and jogging in Strasbourg among her hectic weekly schedule.

The Fine Gael TD has told how a gallop on a Monday morning sets her up for another busy week.

"My week begins in the Dublin mountains.

"I'm up at 6am to go horse riding before work. When I have time, I ride a few days a week. I'm not really a morning person so I have to drag myself out of bed.

"Once I'm up there, though, it's fantastic," she said.

After that, she jets from Dublin airport to Paris for meetings before taking a train to Strasbourg before another meeting with the presidency team.

Last Tuesday, Ms Creighton spent 11 hours in the EU parliament chamber in Strasbourg.

"In addition, I have meetings with MEPs on key policy priorities and some media interviews. I get back to the hotel just before midnight," she said.

The following day, negotiations on a €960m EU budget were held along with seven meetings with MEPS and media interviews.

"I take my seat in the parliament chamber at 5pm for another seven hours of debates," she said.

"On Thursday morning, I go for a quick 5km run around Strasbourg before catching a flight to Amsterdam for a tight connection to Dublin.

"Back in the office, I spend a few hours catching up on constituency work before going home to see my husband Paul.

"We catch up and then head for the hills.

"We're both mad about horses so we go riding before it gets dark," she said.

After hosting a conference on EU enlargement on Friday, Ms Creighton caught upon constituency work on Saturday morning before attending the annual Rathfarnham fundraising sale.