Lucinda strikes back with fresh ambition to stay in public mind

From a wannabe Southside Evita to one of the few TDs with a spine — Lucinda Creighton has been called it all.

Lucinda strikes back with fresh ambition to stay in public mind

Always at the centre of a media swirl, the Dublin South East TD has finally done the inevitable — and whatever she may say to the contrary — moved to create a party in her own political image.

The highly ambitious barrister bulldozed her way into the Dáil in 2007 and would almost certainly be in the Cabinet if she had not broken ranks with Fine Gael and voted against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill in 2013. Sine then, she has struggled for relevance — a battle that will now be determined by the reception of the new party she has launched with Eddie Hobbs.

We do not yet have a name for the party, but that helps ensure that Ms Creighton’s name remains in the limelight until the official launch of the “movement” in eight weeks’ time.

Going under the moniker “Reboot Ireland”, the embryonic force is set to be shaped by a series of high-profile public meetings the TD intends to hold over the next two months.

Despite being one of his most vocal opponents in the bitter heave attempt of 2010, Enda Kenny recognised Ms Creighton’s abilities, and his lack of women TDs — and promoted her to the role of Europe minister as Ireland took over as rotating head of the EU on election in 2011 — a role in which she excelled. It would all end in tears, but then high drama has always been a prominent feature of Ms Creighton’s political life.

Her selection for the leafy Dublin seat that was once Garret FitzGerald’s power base, set a pattern for controversies to come. Eyebrows were raised by the high number of people registering for the candidate selection convention with local addresses seen as somewhat transitory as they were c/o places such as local pubs.

The sudden influx was believed to favour Ms Creighton in a tight tussle with a fellow councillor, but once he had been swept out of the way, the party machine let the matter drop, and Ms Creighton began her ram-raid leap into the national consciousness by blasting then Tánaiste and PD leader Michael McDowell out of the Dáil.

Hating what she saw as the sexist name-tag of “Blonde Ambition” which male rivals who lacked her drive and presence labelled her with, Ms Creighton was soon battling Leo Varadkar to be top dog of the new breed of the socially conservative, thrusting Thatcherite intake of Fine Gael TDs elected in 2007.

Ms Creighton was not happy when fellow anti-Enda rebel Mr Varadkar beat her to Cabinet in 2011.

As one minister said: “Leo played the game, but she played the man, and she was lucky that Enda was willing to forgive her.”

Married to Cork senator Paul Bradford, Ms Creighton remains one of the handful of Irish politicians recognisable by their first name. A name she is determined to keep in the public mind as much as possible.

Within moments of the launch of Lucinda Creighton, Eddie Hobbs and John Leahy’s new party, their #RebootIreland hashtag was trending on Twitter:

-People want new party. Get new party. Complain about new party #RebootIreland — Eóin @Eoin_RD

-What’s the difference between Lucinda’s new party and Enda’s old party? About eighteen months. — Oireachtas Retort (@Oireachtas_RX)

-Happy to hear aim of ‘better to invest in business than property’ #rebootireland — Karldeeter (@karldeeter)

-That failed economic model Lucinda’s talking about. Is that the one that Hobbs was cheerleader for for a decade? #rebootIreland — Stephanie (@Stephanenny)

-Lucinda’s new party magazine has been launched, it’s called “Me and Your Money” #rebootIreland — Happy New Zod (@Zoddub)

-In a country bereft of thinking and political ideals, #RebootIreland is a fascinating intervention — Michael Kelly (@MichaelKellyIC)

-Ms Creighton is starting a new party because she thinks suicidal women should be forced to carry pregnancy to term. Or did I dream that? — Tom Doorley (@tomdoorley)

-Great to see a woman taking the initiative and bringing something new to Ireland’s political scene @LCreighton #RebootIreland — Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock)

-I have to admit I like the idea of making it better to invest in business than in property — but how will they do it? #rebootireland — Alison Begas @kamfinsa

-great to hear @LCreighton talk about supporting small businesses #rebootIreland #Irishpub #shoplocal — Kilshanny House @Kilshannyhouse

-#rebootireland its depressing to see the amount of begrudging that goes on. People can so easily discredit something they know nothing about — Rob Lahiff (@lahiffr)

-#RebootIreland: Because You Didn’t Get A Good Enough Kicking The First Time — Natkingcoleslaw (@natkingcoleslaw)

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up