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200,000-plus can go to the polls in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

200,000-plus can go to the polls in Galway 200,000-plus can go to the polls in Galway

More than 200,000 voters across Galway are registered to go to the polls today (Friday) as 131 candidates battle it out for a seat on Galway City and County Councils.

At the same time, voters will take their pick of a mammoth 27 candidates in an unprecedentedly large field bidding for one of five seats in the European Parliament Midlands-North West constituency.

Galway Garda Chief Superintendent, Gerard Roche, told the Galway City Tribune that they had a full operational plan in place for the city and county, both at the polling booths and the count centres right through from the casting of the first votes to the completion of the final count, to ensure that the weekend runs off smoothly.

“It is an absolute priority for An Garda Síochána that all voters can exercise their democratic rights without any sense of harassment.

“We are also very conscious of the rights of all election candidates to go about their business in an environment free from any sense of fear or harassment,” said Chief Supt. Roche.

He said that extra Garda patrols — both uniformed and plain clothes — would be on duty over the course of the 15-hour voting window today [Friday] and would be on-hand to respond to any potential incidents.

“Of course, we are aware of the trend over the past year of so, where there has been an increase in the number of incidents involving harassment incidents with politicians.

“We are advising all candidates to contact the Gardaí immediately if they have any concerns for their safety or if they feel that they are being subjected to any form of harassment.

“Our role is to ensure that the democratic electoral process can proceed without incident over the course of this weekend and we have the extra resources in place to deal with any problems arising,” said the Chief Superintendent.

Gardaí have also confirmed reports of some election posters being defaced in the city over recent weeks, while in Loughrea, a man was questioned last month by Gardaí over the theft of 14 election posters involving candidates from the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green parties.




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