Mixed reaction among voters over Creighton and Mathews losing party whip

There were mixed views among people in the constituency of Dublin South TD Peter Mathews (above), who  lost the Fine Gael whip over the abortion legislation. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

There were mixed views among people in the constituency of Dublin South TD Peter Mathews (above), who lost the Fine Gael whip over the abortion legislation. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 10:19

In spite of Lucinda Creighton losing the Fine Gael party whip for the stance she took on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, many people outside the Sandymount post office in her Dublin South East constituency said they respected the former junior minister for doing what she believed was right.

“She’s sacrificing a lot as a minister of state and obviously as a rising star of the Fine Gael party,” said local man Jim Whelan. “But I’ve no doubt because of her capability and her integrity. . . she’ll come back with a very successful career in politics.”

However, others disagreed. “I hope she didn’t do anything rash,” said Lorraine Whelan. “In politics I think she’s possibly put the nail in the coffin for herself.”

Another constituent said it was a shame to lose a female minister and added that Ms Creighton “always seemed to be a very hard working politician”.

“While I don’t agree with [her decision],” the woman said, “I respect her for doing it. I did vote for her before and I probably would again”.

Theresa Tighe, another resident of Dublin South East, also said she would vote for Ms Creighton again and that she admired her because “she’s stood by her principles” while Peter McIntrye thought the TD showed courage.

“I think she’s very brave because she knew the consequences,” he said. “I admire her personally because she has put her career on the back-burner.”

Outside Dundrum Town Centre, in the constituency of Dublin South TD Peter Mathews, who also lost the Fine Gael whip over the legislation, people expressed similar views about their local TD.

“I don’t think he should lose his position,” said Joe Burn while another Dublin South constituent, James Dwan, said he would vote for the deputy again because “he stood by what he believed in”.

But not everybody felt the same way. “I think he was wrong,” said Nicola Gallagher. “I do agree with what the Government did on the abortion [vote] and I disagree with those . . . voting against it.”

Another woman said Mr Mathews’ decision disappointed her.

“He first came to my attention as an authority on the banking crisis and . . . he seems to have parted from the script, a bit like Lucinda Creighton,” she said. “I think they’re grandstanding. I doubt if I’d vote for any of them again”.