“I Had Hoped Lucinda Would Become The First Female Taoiseach”


rep2And that I would be her Minister for Love

Fine Gael’s Paddy McCartan. (above) ,the “Junior Councillor for the Pembroke Ward” in Dublin South East went on Today with Pat Kenny on RTE R1 this morning to deliver an eleventh hour plea on behalf of Lucinda Creighton’s FG-voting constituents.

She’s losing Dublin 4.

Pat Kenny: “So as the Junior Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton wrestles with her conscience coming up to the vote on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, her Fine Gael party members in Dublin South East are far clearer on what she should do. Now we will be talking to the minister herself later on in the programme but for now we’re joined by Paddy McCartan, Junior Councillor for the Pembroke Ward in that constituency. Paddy, good morning!”

Paddy McCartan: “Morning Pat!”

Pat Kenny: “Now first of all, what do you want Lucinda Creighton to do?”

Paddy McCartan: “I want Lucinda to support this bill on behalf of the members of the constituency.”

Pat Kenny: “How do you know what the constituency thinks on this particular issue?”

Paddy McCartan: “Well, going back to a meeting I had with Minister Creighton on Friday, I indicated to her that many members had requested a meeting with her and I said I would meet her on their behalf and express their views to her and which I duly did and she responded and then I conveyed those views to what her stand was and I let the members know what she thought.”

Pat Kenny: “Now in terms of what you said to her about what the Fine Gale members in the constituency felt. Clearly you spoke to a lot of active Fine Gael members.”

Paddy McCartan: “Active members. I am not talking about her constituents, I am actually talking about the party membership in Dublin South east or Dublin Bay South as it is now. These members are based in the branches Sandymount, Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Pembroke and the vast majority of them expressed a wish, while supporting Minister Creighton, that she still, they wanted to see her stay within the party to deal with these issues in the future.”

Pat Kenny: “What is it they believe, that the Bill that is being put before the Oireachtas is a government bill that should be supported by her irrespective of her personal reservations?”

Paddy McCartan: “That would be the view of the vast majority of the members I have spoken to.”

Pat Kenny: “And, do you know if those members have any personal reservations themselves and agree with her but feel…?”

Paddy McCartan: “I think we can all interpret this Bill in different ways. I don’t think there’s any… it’s a complex bill, there’s nothing black and white any more in medical science or in technology, there’s grey areas, Lucinda may be right, I may be right but we think that in the best interests of the government which is pledged to introduce this legislation and pass it that it should be supported, and that would be the view. Now if I could just run through a few of the texts I got from people after I had met the Minister, and I’ll give a fair balance of what was said. One of them said there was a waste of talent, another one said they were very disappointed, another one said they felt let down, another one said fair play to Lucinda, another one said I admire Lucinda, another one said not surprised and another one said does that mean she wants to leave politics. So, I mean there was two of those there that expressed a view fair play to her now but that doesn’t necessarily mean that, the you know the implications of actually losing whip and all that goes with that…”

Pat Kenny: “Would there be a difficulty in her getting a nomination in Dublin Bay South next time round following this action if indeed she does decide to leave the parliamentary party, because that’s what a decision to vote against this Bill would mean?”

Paddy McCartan: “Well, I support Minister Creighton on this, I don’t see anywhere in the Fine Gael rule book that she wouldn’t be allowed to stand and I think there might have been a slight backing down on that position, you can’t prevent someone from putting their name forward at a convention and seeking a nomination and personally I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think two and a half years down the road Lucinda may very well seek a nomination but what I’m saying is that a lot of the people, her supporters who are my supporters, like we’ve worked very closely, Lucinda and I have been involved in active politics, I’ve been involved for over thirty years in Dublin South-East, Lucinda has been there for over ten years, we have worked very closely together and our supporters have worked very closely together but I would certainly think that based on the comments I got a lot of that support base could not be guaranteed in the future.”

Pat Kenny: “Could not be guaranteed in the future. So she’s putting her political future on the line. One last point – is it your view that other people in the party who have decided to support the Bill, perhaps with all the pressure that’s been brought to bear on them with great difficulty supporting the Bill, but they’ve had to suck it up and she as someone who’s enjoyed high office should suck it up as well?”

Paddy McCartan: “Well, there would be. That’s not an unreasonable, that’s not an unreasonable view, I think. I mean I was surprised at the demands for the amendments when Lucinda knows that there’s no possibility of those changes being made.”

Pat Kenny: “So what’s she doing? Grandstanding?”

Paddy McCartan: “No she’s not. As I’ve said and I will say this to you Pat and to your listeners that I have said it to Lucinda and I’m on record as saying it to her that I had a vision, like we’re a ambitious constituency, Dublin South East, John A Costello, Garret Fitzgerald and I had hoped that in time Lucinda would become a cabinet minister, become leader of this party and with all that that would entail become the first female Taoiseach and I’ve said that to her and it’s a great personal disappointment to me if, if this happens and will be a great disappointment to most of the membership and I think I’m correct in that, though you know I think Lucinda may confuse support of the members with actually… we’re all supportive of her but what we want her to do is a different thing.”

(Fine Gael, Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

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