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Andrew Lynch: Chastened Kenny has to respond to Creighton's attack

When Lucinda Creighton became a TD at the tender age of 27 three years ago, she bravely declared that she hadn't come to the Dail "to hang around on the backbenches".

As long as her fellow Mayo native Enda Kenny is in charge of Fine Gael, however, that's where she's destined to stay. For such an openly ambitious young lady, that's just not acceptable -- which is why she chose to launch such a devastating attack on her leader in yesterday's speech at the MacGill Summer School.

Although Creighton never mentioned Kenny's name, nobody should be in any doubt that her jibes about "cute hoors" and "Fianna Fail lite" were designed to re-open all the old wounds from last month's failed leadership heave. No matter how much money FG received from those NAMA-beholden developers at last week's K Club fundraiser, it now seems like poor compensation for the avalanche of bad publicity that Creighton has helped pull down on them.

As Creighton and her fellow FG rebels lick their wounds their summer, they can console themselves with one thought. Last month they ran a lousy campaign and still managed to come within a few votes of toppling their leader. If there is a next time, they will have learned a few valuable lessons -- and almost certainly achieve a very different result.

Enda Kenny addresses the MacGill Summer School tomorrow. He would be well advised to tackle Creighton's criticisms straight on, because the longer this viciously personal row drags on, the weaker he will look.

The FG leadership issue is still very much alive -- and one way or another, Creighton is determined to be a player.