And the award for Galway City Council Mistake of the Year goes to . . .


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

And the award for Galway City Council Mistake of the Year goes to . . . And the award for Galway City Council Mistake of the Year goes to . . .

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Between bun fights over cycle lanes in Salthill; a vote to saddle the ratepayers and taxpayers of Galway with a multi-million-euro debt over 30 years to move City Hall to Mervue; an ill-judged attack on Travellers on local radio; and rezoning of parcels of land against the advice of planners, it has been an eventful year in local politics in Galway City.

Here we look at some of the highlights and lowlights of 2022.

Backhanded Compliment of the Year was from Senator Seán Kyne, who congratulated his Galway West Fine Gael party colleague and rival Hildegarde Naughton for being appointed Government Chief Whip (his old job) in this month’s Cabinet reshuffle. In the same tweet he suggested that his mate and Kerry TD Brendan Griffin was hard done by for not getting elevated to the position!

Touted as a possible loser in the mini-reshuffle and briefed against anonymously in national media by colleagues eyeing promotion, Hildegarde is the Survivor of the Year for maintaining her position at Cabinet, albeit without a portfolio.

Storm-Out of the Year goes to Councillor Martina O’Connor (Green), who stormed out of a public meeting of around 50 residents of Carraig Bán and Coolough in December to discuss plans for an entrance to a new housing development planned for the area. Martina was one of three City Central councillors who attended (along with Fine Gael duo Frank Fahy and Eddie Hoare). She left conspicuously soon after the meeting started, after clashing publicly with the chair.

Councillor Colette Connolly (Ind) gets the nod for Underdog of the Year. After years in the political wilderness, the Marmite rep from Shantalla blossomed during the second half of her 12 months as Mayor of Galway, with the Freedom of the City ceremony for Magdalen Laundry heroes, Patricia Burke Brogan and Ena McEntee, being a highlight.

God loves a trier. And Trier of the Year goes to Classy Clodagh Higgins (FG), who despite not being blessed with bilingualism, is at least making an effort to speak Irish at official functions as Mayor and is planning to take Irish lessons in the New Year.

Keep ’em Guessing of the Year goes to Terry O’Flaherty (pictured). Although her colleague and rival Declan McDonnell has indicated he will not contest the next Local Election in 2024, ex-PD and now-Independent former polltopper in City East, O’Flaherty has kept her powder dry on whether she wants another five years on the City Council. Others who may not go again are King of Knocknacarra, Donal Lyons; Colette Connolly in City Central and Noel Larkin in City East.
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the December 30 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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