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'Stay away, McDowell -- it's my turn'

THE young politician being groomed by Fine Gael to stand alongside Lucinda Creighton in the next election says Michael McDowell should not come out of retirement.

City councillor Eoghan Murphy is widely expected to be on the same ticket as the controversial TD Creighton for the general election, but his plans could be scuppered if McDowell makes a shock return to politics.

Weekend reports suggested that Fine Gael was trying to lure the former PD leader back into the ring in an attempt to overshadow the out-of-favour Creighton in the Dublin South East region.

She has already stated that she is "not afraid" of the Ranelagh Rottweiler but Mr Murphy has told the Herald that he doesn't want to be pushed aside for the ex-Tanaiste.

He has also denied that there are tensions between his supporters and Ms Creighton's.

Sources have suggested that some within the party's hierarchy want to raise Mr Murphy's profile in the hope that he might top the poll ahead of Ms Creighton, who has questioned Enda Kenny's leadership.


But Mr Murphy told the Herald: "Fine Gael are going to win two seats in Dublin South East and I'm going to make sure of that."

Asked about speculation that Michael McDowell might take his spot on the election ticket, Cllr Murphy said: "The Michael McDowell stuff seems to be generating a bit of attention, in the papers anyhow.

"I like Michael, but my understanding is that his involvement in electoral politics is over.

"And while I think Michael does have a contribution to make to the national debate I believe that now is the time for new politicians and a new generation."

Cllr Murphy was one of Fine Gael's star performers in the 2007 local elections when he topped the Pembroke-Rathmines poll with over 2,000 votes.

He was immediately identified by the party as a potential election candidate in the area where Ms Creighton holds the only Fine Gael seat.

Today, he told the Herald that he is "looking forward to a very strong team campaign" with Lucinda.

"I know that when the time comes we have the ability to go out and to do it for Fine Gael," he said.