Creighton says she retains strong grassroots support from FG members

Fine Gael councillor in Dublin South East calls for Creighton to resign from party

Dissident Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton has said she has received considerable support from grassroot supporters in Dublin South East Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dissident Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton has said she has received considerable support from grassroot supporters in Dublin South East Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 01:00

Dissident Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton has said she has received considerable support from grassroot supporters in Dublin South East who are dismayed at calls for her resignation from the party.

Paddy McCartan, a Fine Gael councillor in the constituency, has called for Ms Creighton to resign from Fine Gael over what he portrayed as the increased divergence of her views from those of the Fine Gael-led Government.

Speaking on RTÉ yesterday, Mr McCartan instanced a number of stances adopted by Ms Creighton inside and outside the Dáil in recent weeks, including her involvement in the campaign against the abolition of the Seanad as well as her abstention on a key budget vote.

He also referred to her intention to stand as an Independent candidate at the next election associated with the Reform Alliance while still retaining membership of Fine Gael.

‘Incompatible’
“When people heard that they said to me it is totally incongruous and incompatible [with membership] of Fine Gael,” he said.

Mr McCartan was speaking in the context of a Fine Gael selection convention for the local elections which is being held this week. He said those who had formerly supported Ms Creighton in Dublin South East had told him that they would not support her any longer.

However, it seems there is a large degree of division within the constituency about Ms Creighton’s membership of the party and of her remaining active within Fine Gael in Dublin South East, even though she no longer has the party whip and is unlikely to be readmitted to the parliamentary party ahead of the next election.

Illustrating the level of grassroots support she enjoys, Ms Creighton said yesterday that she had been contacted by more than 25 members of Fine Gael expressing dismay at reports she would not be welcome at the convention and urging her to attend.

“I’m a member of Fine Gael in Dublin South East since I was 18 years old, and as such I have been invited to attend and vote in Thursday’s convention. I would certainly attend were I in the country.”

Ms Creighton is a vice-president of the European People’s Party of which Fine Gael is a member and is attending a European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday in that capacity.

Convention
“Unfortunately that prevents me attending the convention. I wish Paddy and the other contenders well,” she said.

The Dublin South East TD was the minister of state for European affairs and one of the most high-profile ministers of State before she voted against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill earlier this year.

Since being expelled from the parliamentary party she and six other Fine Gael TDs and Senators have formed the Reform Alliance.