Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton
Leader of Renua Ireland
In office
13 March 2015  14 May 2016
Deputy Billy Timmins
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by John Leahy
Minister of State for European Affairs
In office
10 March 2011  11 July 2013
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Dick Roche
Succeeded by Paschal Donohoe
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2007  February 2016
Constituency Dublin South-East
Personal details
Born (1980-01-20) 20 January 1980
Claremorris, Mayo, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Renua Ireland (since March 2015)
Other political
Reform Alliance (2013–15),
Fine Gael (until July 2013)
Spouse(s) Paul Bradford
Children 1
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
Profession Barrister[1]
Religion Roman Catholicism[2]

Lucinda Creighton (born 20 January 1980) is a former Irish politician and leader of the party she helped found, Renua Ireland. Initially elected as a member of Fine Gael, she was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-East constituency from 2007 until 2016.[3] She served as the Minister of State for European Affairs from March 2011 to July 2013, losing the party whip when she voted against the government's bill which demarcated the circumstances by which abortion could be legally carried out in the State.[4] Following her resignation from Fine Gael in July 2013, she sat as an independent TD until March 2015 and the launch of Renua Ireland. She lost her seat at the 2016 general election and resigned as Renua leader in May 2016.

Early life

Creighton grew up in Claremorris, County Mayo where her father was a bookmaker and her mother was a teacher.[5] She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where she gained a Bachelor of Laws in 2002. She was a member of the Trinity College branch of Young Fine Gael. In 2003, she qualified as an attorney-at-law for the state of New York. She was called to the Irish bar in 2005.

Political career

Fine Gael

Members of the EU Presidency (2012)

While at Trinity College, Creighton was elected Deputy Secretary General of the Youth of the European People's Party.[6] She was elected to Dublin City Council in 2004, aged 24, representing the Pembroke local electoral area.[7]

Creighton was elected to Dáil Éireann on her first attempt in the 2007 general election, as its youngest member,[8] the first TD born in the 1980s. She was appointed Fine Gael spokesperson on European Affairs from 2007 to 2010. She was critical of party leader, Enda Kenny, during that period. In July 2010 she criticised what she termed the "cute hoor politics" in Fine Gael.[9] In October 2010, she was appointed as party deputy spokesperson on Justice with special responsibility for Immigration, Integration and Equality.

She played a key role in Fine Gael's campaign for a yes vote in both referendums on the Treaty of Lisbon.[10] Creighton was re-elected in February 2011, topping the poll in Dublin South-East.[11] Following Fine Gael's entry into government, she was appointed by Enda Kenny as the Minister of State for European Affairs.

On taking office, she was openly critical of the response by European leaders to the eurozone crisis, telling an audience in London in May 2011 that "European leaders have gone from contributing to the development of the Union to identifying what they can take from it and parade in front of their own electorates. While the European spirit lives on, what is absent is the willingness and courage to argue, communicate and persuade people that it is still a good idea."[12]

During her time as minister, Creighton visited every EU member, candidate and aspiring country at least once, and represented the government at meetings and conferences such as the Croatia Summit in July 2012,[13] the EU–ASEAN ministerial meeting in Brunei in April 2012 and the EU–ASEM meeting in Budapest in June 2011.[14] Creighton was also the first Irish government minister to officially meet a minister from Burma when she met its foreign minister in April 2012.[15]

Creighton was involved in the co-ordination of the planning an execution of Ireland's 2013 EU Presidency, chairing a government committee responsible for all policy preparations and oversight.[16][17] In January 2013 she hosted a meeting of European affairs ministers in Dublin which focused on strengthening the democratic legitimacy of European Union states.[18] During the 2012 referendum on the Stability Treaty, Creighton played a central role, speaking at numerous public meetings and events. Along with Simon Coveney, she devised Fine Gael's campaign for a yes vote.

Renua Ireland

Creighton was expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party on 11 July 2013 when she defied the party whip by voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, which allowed a termination of pregnancy by doctors in the case of a threat to a woman's life, including a risk of suicide.[4] She also resigned as Minister of State. On 13 September 2013, she and six other expellees formed the Reform Alliance, described as a "loose alliance" rather than a political party.[19] The expulsion was criticised as indicative of the suppressing of independent voices by the party whip system and, as such, the need for having an independent Seanad.[20] Creighton joined the Dáil Technical Group in September 2014.[21]

On 2 January, Creighton announced that she would found a new political party in spring 2015.[22] The party is being founded under four principles, including, Creighton claims, "building an economy for entrepreneurs" and "giving politics back to the people."[22] Creighton said: "We want to reboot Ireland and we want those who are as passionate about this country as we are to join us on this mission".[22] She hopes her new party will raise €1 million in small donations before the next general election.[23]

On 13 March 2015, Renua Ireland was launched, with Creighton as its leader.[24][25] They contested the February 2016 general election,[8] but lost all three of their seats. Creighton resigned as party leader on 14 May 2016.[26]

Political positions

Foreign policy

Creighton meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Urmas Paet in October 2012.

Creighton is an opponent of Ireland's "triple-lock" system that means the deployment of the Irish Defence Forces outside of the State must first be prompted by a formal Government decision, then approved by the Dáil before being mandated by the United Nations. Creighton favours a system where only a Government and Dáil vote is necessary for military deployment outside the State as she views it is not a "viable position in Irish foreign policy that peacekeeping missions are dependent on a UN mandate when Russia and China get a veto."[27]

Economic policy

Creighton was an early advocate of eurobonds as a potential solution to the eurozone crisis. She publicly called for the European Central Bank to become a lender of last resort following a meeting with her French counterpart in Paris in December 2012.[28]

Creighton has said Sinn Féin’s economic policies are “absolutely hare-brained” and “would come close to bankrupting the country”.[29]

Social policy

Creighton stated in February 2011 that while she supported civil partnerships, which was then in the process of coming into effect, she opposed same-sex marriage and that she believed that "marriage is primarily about children, main purpose being to propagate and create."[30][31] Controversy surrounding the comment, and its resulting backlash made national papers, and led to official statements being issued by Fine Gael distancing the party from her comments.[32] She later changed her view to support same-sex marriage.[23]

Creighton is against abortion and believes "We celebrate the right of human beings to enjoy life – whether we speak of a criminal on death row, or an innocent baby girl, or a baby with Down syndrome. None of us are perfect, but our life is worthy and we are all worthy of life. Who are any one of us to determine that even one single life is not worth living, not worth protecting?"[33]

Personal life

Creighton married Senator Paul Bradford, a former colleague in Fine Gael and now also a member of Renua, in April 2011.[34] They have one daughter.[35][36]


  2. "Abortion Debate". Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  3. "Ms. Lucinda Creighton". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Creighton votes against Govt in abortion debate". RTÉ News. 11 July 2013.
  5. "Lunch with... Lucinda Creighton". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. "YEPP candidate Lucinda Creighton elected first in EPP Board". YouthEPP. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  7. "Profile: Lucinda Creighton". The Sunday Times. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Lucinda Creighton". Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  9. "Fine Gael tensions resurface". The Irish Times. 20 July 2011.
  10. "FG calls on public to back Lisbon Treaty". RTÉ News. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  11. "31st Dáil – Dublin South East First Preference Votes". Elections Ireland. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  12. "Speech: Restoring Unity, Cooperation and Selflessness to the European Project". Lucinda Creighton. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  13. "Ireland to help countries of the western Balkans achieve their EU perspective". Department of Foreign Affairs. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  14. "Department of Foreign Affairs – Minister Creighton attends ASEM Conference in Budapest". Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  15. "Minister Creighton meets Foreign Minister of Myanmar (Burma) – first ministerial meeting between the two countries". Department of Foreign Affairs. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  16. Suzanne Lynch (23 April 2013). "Government happy with diplomacy gains at mid-point of Irish presidency". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  17. Lucinda Creighton (26 December 2012). "With Ireland's EU presidency comes a chance for real change". Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  18. Judith Crosbie (22 January 2013). "Candidate countries must pass muster before joining EU". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  19. "The politicians formerly known as the Fine Gael rebels are now the Reform Alliance". 10 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  20. "Seanad vote: Threat to 'northern input in southern politics'". BBC News. 3 October 2013.
  21. "Lucinda Creighton says she's joined the Dáil Technical Group – but they don't want her". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  22. 1 2 3 "Creighton to launch new party in spring". RTÉ News. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  23. 1 2 "Lucinda Creighton seeking €1m for new party". Irish Times. 3 January 2015.
  24. "Revealed: Lucinda's new party is called Renua Ireland". Irish Independent. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  25. "Creighton's new party to be called Renua Ireland". RTÉ News. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  26. Philip Ryan (2016-05-14). "Lucinda Creighton steps down as leader of Renua Ireland". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  27. "How should Ireland decide whether to send troops abroad?". Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  28. "Ireland says ECB should be lender of last resort". Reuters. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  29. "Lucinda Creighton: Fine Gael will suffer major losses in next general election". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  30. "LCreighton". Twitter / Lucinda Creighton. 18 February 2011.
  31. "Poll: Do you agree with Lucinda Creighton's comments on marriage?". The Journal. 21 February 2011.
  32. Edwards, Elaine (23 February 2011). "FG says Creighton views 'her own'". The Irish Times.
  33. "Here's what Lucinda Creighton had to say on abortion legislation". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  34. "Creighton ties the knot in low-key ceremony". Irish Independent. 2 May 2011.
  35. "Baby on the way for Lucinda Creighton and husband Paul Bradford". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  36. "Lucinda Creighton gives birth to baby girl". Retrieved 27 March 2014.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Lucinda Creighton
Preceded by
John Gormley
Michael McDowell
Eoin Ryan, Jnr
Ruairi Quinn
Teachta Dála for Dublin South-East
With: Chris Andrews 2007–11
John Gormley 1997–2011
Ruairi Quinn 1982–2016
Kevin Humphreys 2011–16
Eoghan Murphy 2011–16
constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
Dick Roche
Minister of State for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Paschal Donohoe
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Damien English
Baby of the Dáil
Succeeded by
Simon Harris
Party political offices
New title Leader of Renua Ireland
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