By Declan Tierney
The electoral boundary change announced for Galway city and the increase in the number of seats on the local authority has left a number of councillors in a quandary and will lead to a record number of candidates standing in next year’s local elections.
As expected there will be three additional councillors on Galway City Council and the three electoral wards have each been transformed into six-seaters.
This means that Galway City West will go from five seats to six but the biggest change will be in the Galway City Central ward which increases from four to six seats with a significantly reduced Galway City East remaining a six-seater.
The big change involves the Menlo and Tirellan areas being moved into the Galway City Central ward from the east. This presents a huge dilemma for both Fine Gael’s Frank Fahy and Labour councillor Tom Costello.
The likely scenario is that Frank Fahy will switch electoral areas and will join incoming mayor Cllr. Padraic Conneely on the FG ticket and they should have the capacity to both retain their seats in the City Central ward.
It basically means that the area left of the Headford Road roundabout all the way out to Ballindooley Cross is now in a new electoral ward.
It is unlikely that Cllr. Costello will switch from the Galway City East ward as he would be moving into an electoral area where Cllr. Billy Cameron and Cllr. Collette Connolly currently hold seats for Labour and either would be very difficult to depose.
Since being co-opted in place of Deputy Brian Walsh, Cllr. Fahy has been very active and was instrumental in preventing lights being provided in place of the roundabout at Menlo; he secured a more regular bus service for the area; is involved in developing a Mass path in Castlegar as well as being involved in the provision of a nursing home in the area.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.