Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley
Anyone in public life who is on Twitter knows the drill well. The little red bubble comes up on a politician’s phone indicating a notification on Twitter. He or she opens the app to find they’ve been ‘tagged’ in an in-depth (in so much as Twitter can be in-depth) analysis of the latest grievances of Cosain, a self-appointed local road safety group headed by Simon Comer, and Galway Cycling Campaign, fronted by Shane Foran.
Unsolicited notifications from these two particular lobby groups are commonplace for our local representatives, as well as City Hall officials working in the Galway Transportation Unit or Roads Department.
It could be a photograph of a footpath, or a cyclist, or a traffic tailback, or a speed-gun checkpoint, or a video of same, or a link to an article about cycling or cars or buses, or a link to a study about the Galway City Outer Bypass or Ring Road or whatever.
The gist of the tweets is always the same: cars = bad; cycling = good; planners/politicians like cars and roads too much, and aren’t doing enough to promote cycling, walking and public transport.
So far, so good, says you. And sure, isn’t it good that the public engages with and the democratic process? The problem is not the content of the tweets, per se, it’s more the frequency of them, according to the pestered politicians.
Mentions are when you’re notified and are part of a conversation, whether you like it or not. And some politicians claim they are mentioned or badgered by lobby groups such as Cosain incessantly.
One City Councillor has had enough. Mike Crowe is usually a patient man. But he flipped the lid last week when tagged or mentioned in a tweet by Cosain. You’d think he’d have gotten used to it by now; but MJ nearly bust a blood vessel as he let fly.
“Is it possible that you might be able to stop fucking tweeting us all day & night and keep it to like a couple a day????” He said to Cosain, Galway Cycling Organisation and 19 others who had also been tagged in the tweet.
One or two of the others tweeted him back, with one claiming Crowe’s tweet was “inappropriate” and another describing his potty-mouthed outburst as “appalling”. Roll on the election, she said.
To which Crowe replied: “The response was not to you. There is no need for anybody/organisation to be constantly tweeting to the same handles morning, noon and night, day in, day out. It needs to stop.”
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.