Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley
With local elections due in 2019, political parties are readying their candidates. Back in 2014, it seemed that some big personalities on the current City Council were unlikely to run again.
However, more than midway through the term, veterans like Billy Cameron (Labour) and Pádraig Conneely (FG) are showing no signs of slowing down.
Others who have been quiet since getting elected, are beginning to find their voice again, too.
Of course, the prospect of getting a kick up the backside from the electorate tends to refocus the minds of stagnant politicians.
Then there’s the newbie wannabes – the likes of Niall Ó Tuathail of the Social Democrats – who are working away on the ground trying to build a profile and find issues that resonate with potential voters.
Smiler Nialler, for instance, gained traction on his opposition to the Blackrock diving tower revamp.
Independents are also making up their minds about whether they’ll run for office. The Usual Suspects like Tommy Roddy and Mike Geraghty will probably go again for the craic; and that cycling lad, Simon Comer, might be tempted to stick his name on the ballot paper.
Some things will stay the same: Polltopper Terry O’Flaherty will top the poll again in Galway City East. So, too, will Donal Lyons in Galway City West.
What of the Galway City Central man who surprised all and outpolled everyone last time out?
Mike Cubbard, the city’s current deputy mayor, ran as an Independent and even had ‘celebrity endorsement’ of MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.
Cubbard will certainly run again – his social media profile shows he’s already campaigning – but what flag will he be flying?
Mike was spotted chatting in a dark corner of Dáil Éireann midweek with one Soldier of Destiny – City Councillor Ollie Crowe – which sent the rumour mill into overdrive that he was about to be unveiled as his running mate as a Fianna Fáil local election candidate. They’d be well matched.
Together again . . . just as Take That, Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block made a comeback, some members of the Labour Party’s former boyband in Galway West – The Nolan Sisters? – were cock-a-hoop at having organised a reunion up in the Big Schmoke recently.
Lead singer and star attraction – Michael D Higgins – was host, and as always, stole the show from the backing vocalists, his successor Derek Nolan the former TD; elder statesman of the party in Galway City, Councillor Billy Cameron; and the wannabe-superstar, Councillor Niall McNelis, who is eyeing a run at Dáil Éireann.
The band Dancing on the Cars provided the entertainment at Michael D’s garden fete last week, one of seven outdoor parties he throws annually at Áras and Uachtaráin.
As well as the three Labour Party apparatchiks, there was a large Galway contingent in the Park, many of whom were community activists, and some who would have campaigned for him in past elections.
Michael D has yet to declare his intention to seek a second term as President, when his current reign ends in 2018, but no harm to keep the canvassing troops onside should the other parties decide not to allow him a free-run back, and instead opt for an election.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.