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Adams’ arrest fall-out is the Litmus test for Sinn Fein




Adams’ arrest fall-out is the Litmus test for SF

World of Politics with Harry McGee

When Eamon de Valera was in Lincoln Prison during the War of Independence, his election team came up with a fantastic slogan for the parliamentary elections. It ran: “Put Dev in to get him out”.

And you don’t need me to tell you that popular sentiment at the time was overwhelmingly behind de Valera and his colleagues.

Following his recent arrest, you wonder how well such an electoral strategy would work for Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein. For sure, in the strongholds of the North and the border and among working class areas it will do nothing but bolster the party’s support.

But the reaction elsewhere will be telling. If it boosts Sinn Féin’s support, or does not affect it one way or the other, it means that the party has crossed an important acceptability threshold… that people know all about its terrible past but don’t really care enough, or no longer see it as a factor.

The killing of Jean McConville was heinous. But the attitude may be that that was then (a long time ago) and this is now and Sinn Féin is now as shiny and bright as Gerry’s famous choppers.

It’s too early to gauge how it’s all going to play with the electorate. And besides, opinion polls (and we all use them as if they are political oxygen) are much more inaccurate when it comes to polling individual constituencies (as opposed to the entire country).

That’s because they use much smaller samples (500 people as opposed to 1,000) and that makes the margin of error larger.

And it explains, to some degree, the huge inconsistencies between the Millward Brown poll for the Independent and the Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post a week later.

One had Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne at 16 per cent in Midlands North West and the other had him at seven or eight per cent.

Similarly Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan in Dublin was 20 per cent in the Millward Brown poll but only 14 per cent in the Red C one. Nessa Childers support in Dublin halved from 20 per cent to ten per cent in the space of a week.

There’s still a lot of jostling going on. European elections are second-tier elections and are considered by the electorate as mid-term, or not vital.

Thus voting and candidate choice can be impetuous – they can be reduced to beauty contests with big swings and fluctuations of support. As the actual results show in each election, some parties (Greens, Labour and Sinn Féin) have tended to have their support overstated in the election and some (Fianna Fáil last time) are understated. Labour is certainly not being overstated in the polls right now.

So if we were to rework that Dev slogan, it might read something unwieldy like this for Sinn Féin: Put him in to not them in.

And the ‘them’ in this case are Sinn Féin candidates.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.


Mayor’s malevolent mimic strikes with sick message

Dara Bradley



Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

It was late on Monday night, November 16, when a male Galway City councillor’s phone rang repeatedly.

When the calls went unanswered, at half past midnight his phone pinged, signalling a WhatsApp had been received.

The message, purporting to be from Mayor Mike Cubbard, disgusted the recipient.

It said: “Please answer your phone, this is an emergency my c*ck has swollen to four or five times its normal size.” The texter left a message suggesting a solution which involved the councillor’s wife.

Mayor Mike hadn’t sent the message. This was just another sinister development and escalation in the ongoing online impersonation of the Independent councillor by a twisted and sick individual with a grudge.

Weeks earlier, Mayor Mike’s malevolent mimic sent a series of WhatsApp texts to a young, good-looking, left-leaning Dublin City Councillor. She, too, was shocked.

The person purporting to be Mayor Mike expressed a desire to see this woman’s breasts “bounce up and down” while they had sex. “What a man gotta do?”, it said.

That’s the PG version; the language used in the actual message was incredibly derogatory and coarse.

It wasn’t the first message sent to this elected representative purporting to be from Mayor Mike.

“I hope that didn’t come across weird,” said one message, and God only knows what ‘that’ referred to.

Another asked her if she was “still interested in taking part?” Again, Mayor Mike shudders to think what sort of sick event this woman was being invited to take part in, in his name. Not nice on his wife or kids to have those kind of messages going around, with his name attached.

The targeting of Mayor Mike began in mid-October. Several Galway City Councillors got messages purporting to be from Cubbard, like this one sent to Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG). “Hi Ed I am just passing on new contact number as I had to have phone repaired thanks.”

Using this ‘new’ number, the person pretending to be Mayor Mike created a WhatsApp group with several councillors, and messaged: “Hi all just think it is good for us to keep in communication with each other as a group can you please add those who I have missed as I do not have access to everyone’s number thanks Mike.”

Jessica Fletcher-like Cllr Owen Hanley (Soc Dem) smelt a rat, and replied: “You’ve missed someone. The mayor.”

He then took a screenshot and alerted the real Mayor Mike to what had happened.

That was October 15, days after Mayor Mike was vocal about right-wing anti-mask protestors. Since then at least two councillors have received sexually explicit messages.

Mayor Mike’s fear is that many more councillors received similar sexual innuendo, believing it to be from him. And he’s right to worry; one screenshot reveals that the impersonator had 68 unopened messages, presumably replies.

The Gardaí are investigating, but we should be worried – an attack on the mayor is an attack on us all, and on local democracy.
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

Grandparents are the glue that became unstuck during Covid

Dave O'Connell



Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

IT goes without saying that lockdown has been hard for everyone – with the possible exception of hermits – but few have felt it more than grandparents, confined to barracks and deprived of those hugs from the grandchildren.

Looking at them through windows may only have made it worse, because little kids don’t understand why nana and granddad won’t come out; they don’t realise they want to, more than anything in the whole world.

This pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect; a chance to remember what is truly important and what we should cherish instead of taking for granted.

And arguably, grandparents should be on top of that list.

You’ll have heard it said that being a grandparent is like you’ve been given a second chance; an opportunity to spend time in retirement with the next generation that work deprived you of when it came to your own.

There’s also a notion espoused by some of those grandparents that you love them more than your own kids, because this time, when you’re finished playing with them, you can give them back.

I never knew any of my four grandparents, because they were all dead before I was born. My own sons never knew my parents because they too had long departed before the next generation arrived.

But thankfully they did grow up with two grandparents as an integral part of their lives – and not just minding them, which they did with a commitment for which we will be ever grateful.

The measure of success in this department is that your children see your parents as just a part of the family; there’s an easy familiarity every time they meet, just like picking up the pieces without a second thought.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.



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Connacht Tribune

Galway square up to Limerick a little earlier than we anticipated

John McIntyre



Galway’s Padraic Mannion breaking away from Tipperary’s Paul Flynn during Saturday's All-Ireland hurling quarter-final at the Gaelic Grounds. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

After the initial skirmishes in the hurling championship, the widespread perception was that Limerick and Galway were the two best teams out there, leading to an anticipation that next month’s final would end being a repeat pairing of the 2018 decider.

Of course, that assumption was premised on both teams staying winning, but after Galway were caught napping by Kilkenny in the Leinster Final all bets were off. Now as it transpires Galway and Limerick will be meeting after all except it will be earlier than expected – a semi-final instead of a final.

From the outset, Galway have been burdened with the mantle of being the only team which has the capacity to stand up to Limerick physically. It’s a fair assessment when you shift through the imposing figures on the Tribesmen team, notably Daithí Burke, Joseph Cooney, Fintan Burke, Gearóid McInerney, Joe Canning and Conor Cooney.

They have several other six footers plus as well and given the vast experience in their ranks, it’s probably accurate to suggest that if Galway can’t stop Limerick no team can. But how good are Limerick? I for one don’t think they are quite as formidable as some commentators would have us believe.

If we go back to the 2018 final, remember Galway had come into that game possibly fatigued after being taken to replays by both Kilkenny and Clare. They conceded three goals from turnovers; were eight points down after 68 minutes, and were still only beaten by a point as the Shannonsiders staggered over the line.

Furthermore, they were taken out in last year’s semi-final by an average Kilkenny team – granted their average is higher than everybody else’s – which ended up losing the final by 14 points to Tipperary. More recently, they had a lot of troubled passages in their Munster Final triumph over Waterford.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.



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