Devil in detail as Shinners set to snub robes

The three Sinn Fein candidates
The three Sinn Fein candidates, Anna Marley, Galway City Central (left), Cathal O Conchuir, Galway City West, and Mairead Farrell, Galway City East, who were elected on to Galway City Council.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column

The number usually associated with the devil is 666. It is fitting, then, that the newly elected Galway City Council will meet for the first time on Friday the sixth day of June, the sixth month of the year, and at 6pm. Surely not a coincidence?

The new Council, which has increased from 15 to 18 City Councillors, is to be populated by three Sinn Féin members, who enjoyed an historic election triumph.

The Soldiers of Destiny and Blueshirts at the election count centre in Westside last weekend were uneasy at the sound of SF supporters’ Northern Irish accents – or accents from the ‘Six Counties’ as they’d say themselves – who were celebrating Shinner victories. The ‘Nordie’ accents certainly proved Sinn Féin is an All-Ireland party.

On Friday, the new Council will be ‘sworn in’, and a new mayor elected.

The three Shinners’ friends and family and hangers-on – like all other candidates – will join the public galleries in the revamped Council chamber, which has been enlarged to reflect the increase in councillors.

The ‘old guard’ establishment parties and independents are expecting high jinks from the Shinners.

Rumour has it Cathal Ó Conchúir, Maireád Farrell and Anna Marley are going to refuse to wear the red-robes, the traditional attire at these ceremonies. The Shinners want to send out the message that they’re not aloof like the traditional fuddy-duddies, which is fair enough. But apparently Pearce Flannery, the newly elected Fine Gael City Councillor in City West, made similar pre-election noises about the robes. Pearce and the Shinners – strange bedfellows indeed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.