Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Opinion

Bradley Bytes – And on the eighth day they rose again!

Published

on

Bradley Bytes And on the eighth day they rose again!

Posters again dominated the local election campaign in the run-up to Friday’s polling day.

Initially, posters dominated the early part of the campaign, and the story revolved around whether or not the posters that were erected could be considered election posters.

Legally, candidates can only put up posters 30 days prior to polling day. But, as you know, politicians are a devious and sneaky shower. They see rules as being there to be broken: it’s the Irish way, exploiting the grey area. So what we had was councillors, and wannabe-councillors, organising public meetings, and putting up ‘election posters’ to advertise those meetings. Technically, by the letter of the law, they weren’t election posters . . . technically a tomato is a fruit but you’re not going to be putting it into a fresh fruit pavlova now are you?

Once the ‘are they, aren’t they’ election posters storm blew-over, attention turned to the poster campaign proper.

Who jumped the gun – and broke the law – by erecting posters early, before the 30-day period, preoccupied the chit-chat round water-coolers.

These candidates were usually newcomers to politics, and either dripping in desperation to get their names out there or giddy with excitement to get the ‘best’ position on lampposts.

On the night of the 30-day period, the city was abuzz with dodgy-looking poster boys (and girls), hanging round lampposts with fold-up ladders and cardboard posters under their arms.

That’s when the jostling for position started: the fight for the prime position for posters – outside schools and churches and at major, busy road junctions – can often be as intense as the fight for votes.

Posters were airbrushed . . . some candidates’ heads of hair looked fuller than in real life . . . some candidates miraculously found the cure for wrinkles . . . others’ baldness disappeared . . . and grey turned to dark brown or amber red . . . some candidates were smiling, candidates whose faces would crack normally if they were to smile . . . other vacuous yokes looked honest and sincere even though they’re subscribers to sleeveen and gombeen politics . . . others, ashamed of their party, tried to hide the logo, so not to be associated with a toxic brand.

Once the posters are all up, that’s when the fun started. And the dirty tricks. There’s nothing like posters to bring out the worst in politicians and their supporters.

The same wide-boys and corner boys who erect their own candidates’ posters are the prime suspects for the ones who are out doing devilment to rivals’ posters.

Posters were defaced . . . they were stolen . . . the poster ties were cut so that the posters would swing around in the wind – if you get clipped with a stray poster you’re not going to vote for the mug that’s on it now are you?

Posters were shunted down the lampposts to a level not as visible . . . posters were turned upside down . . . they were taken down and thrown into fields and along pathways . . . posters were set on fire . . . they were vandalised . . . and all in the interest of getting your vote.

All posters must be removed a week after polling day. If they’re not, then the candidates face fines.

The dirtiest of dirty posters’ tricksters are clever: They steal their rivals posters, hide them for the length of the election campaign and put them up again the day that all posters are supposed to be taken down. And so on the eighth day, posters miraculously appear again . . . and the poor candidates who have had their posters stolen during the campaign, are then stuck with a fine when they reappear unbeknownst to themselves!

For more Bradley Bites see this week’s Sentinel.

CITY TRIBUNE

RTÉ expenses’ exposé justifies TV licence fee

Published

on

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Irish people have a love hate relationship with the national broadcaster. In keeping with our begrudging nature, we love to hate it. But, paradoxically, we have an ingrained affinity with it too. And for all its faults, it is ours. News and current affairs distinguish it from other channels.

RTÉ’s Irish language services – Radió na Gaeltachta and Nuacht TG4 – despite operating on shoe-string budgets compared with their English language counterparts in the same stable, are excellent and justify the licence fee.

So too does Prime Time Investigates. The only complaint you’d have with it, is there aren’t enough investigations by Prime Time.

That’s because journalism, particularly investigative journalism, takes time and money. And notwithstanding that they do pay their ‘stars’ too much, RTÉ is nearly always short of money.

Last week, RTÉ did the State some service with its exposé of the flawed expenses system for people elected to local authorities.

It was worthy of licence fee funding. One man who got full value from his TV licence fee, from the programme, was Galway City Councillor Declan McDonnell.

Without RTÉ Prime Time Investigates, we would not have known that he had repaid and refunded over-claimed expenses.

The ex-PD, who topped the poll as an Independent in City East at the most recent local election, didn’t feature on the TV programme but was one of many elected members named in an accompanying lengthy online article.

In it, Declan confirmed that he had over-claimed and refunded expenses relating to attendance in 2015 at a Committee of the Regions seminar in the Netherlands on Thursday, March 12, and a conference in Monaghan on the same day.

“I realised that when I completed the GCC form, I over-claimed one day and this has since been refunded to Galway City Council,” he said.

On another occasion, he told RTÉ he had made a mistake on a claim form submitted, and subsequently refunded a daily allowance of €33.61 to the City Council. This related to meetings in Leitrim and Roscommon on the same day in 2019.

A claim form indicated he had attended a planning meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon, and returned at 10pm on Friday April 5. Another claim form – related to a Committee of the Regions-related meeting, at the Northern and Western Regional Assembly in Ballaghaderreen – said he left home 11.30am on Friday, April 5, for a 2pm meeting, returning home at 5.45pm.

He explained to RTÉ: “Following discussions with my family, they have recalled that I left the conference in Carrick-on-Shannon early morning on April 5, 2019, to return home and deal with an urgent family matter. I then left Galway to attend the CoR meeting in Ballaghaderreen.”

The money amounts are quite small. And, Declan McDonnell was one of many highlighted in the investigation who had made mistakes claiming expenses.

A conscientious and experienced city councillor like Declan McDonnell would no doubt thank RTÉ for bringing it to his – and our – attention.

On a broader level, RTÉ deserves credit for investing time and money into shining a spotlight on an expenses’ system that nearly all councillors agree needs an overhaul.

(Photo: Councillor Declan McDonnell)
This is a shortened preview version of Bradley Bytes. To read more, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Fearsome Limerick hit new high by tearing Tipperary rivals apart

Published

on

Galway’s Carrie Dolan breaking away from Laura Doherty of Westmeath during Saturday's All-Ireland camogie championship clash at Kenny Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

In the aftermath of a wonderful sporting achievement, it’s easy to get carried away and, perhaps, overrate what we have just seen at the expense of great deeds from the past. But even against that background, what Limerick hurlers achieved in the second-half of Sunday’s Munster Final was extraordinary.

They looked a beaten docket at half-time. Trailing by ten points to a Jason Forde inspired and a fiercely committed Tipperary, the All-Ireland champions were in serious trouble. They had conceded two goals directly from opposition puck-outs to Jake Morris and Bubbles O’Dwyer, and so many of their marquee players were off the pace.

In fact, Tipperary could have been ahead by more. With Dan McCormack playing deep to free up Brendan Maher as their sweeper, they created a world of chances with Forde – the most under-rated forward in the game – rifling over a series of points from all angles and distances. Limerick were all at sea and only Cian Lynch and Tom Morrissey were having a significant impact on the action.

But nobody could have envisaged the sensational turnaround in the third quarter. Within 18 minutes, a resurgent Limerick had gone a point ahead as reserves Aaron Gillane and Dan Morrissey added fresh vigour to their challenge at opposite ends of the field. It was like watching two different matches as Tipp were simply overwhelmed.

Their older generation really sagged in the unforgiving temperatures and by the time their management made changes, Limerick had already taking control. On the scoreboard, Tipp were still in it, but their players must have been in a state of shock over how a big lead had been so quickly and so ruthlessly wiped out. Limerick’s younger legs and sheer physical power were now dictating the terms of engagement.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

No great rush to mend the error of your ways!

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was St Augustine who famously petitioned in prayer: ‘God, make me good – but just not yet’. It’s a sentiment that one Sister Mary Joseph took to whole new levels, because after spending her first 61 years as a high-living heiress, she spent the last three decades as a cloistered nun.

And she closed one chapter to open another one back in 1989 with a party for 800 of her closest friends at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco – so many guests that the hostess carried a helium balloon all night, with the words “Here I Am” so that people could find her amid the throng.

The next day the former Ann Russell Miller flew to Chicago and joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a novitiate, spending the rest of her life as Sister Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Or as one of her 28 grandchildren put it: “It was like The Great Gatsby turned into The Sound of Music.”

Her recent obituary in the Times painted quite the colourful picture of a lover of the high life turned Holy Roller.

“She smoked, drank champagne, played cards, spent five hours a day on the telephone and, as an expert scuba diver and enthusiastic skier, travelled around the world.

“She had a season ticket to the opera, was a high-society patron of many charitable causes and drove her sports car at such reckless speeds that, according to her son Mark, ‘people got out of her car with a sore foot from slamming on an imaginary brake’.”

Because if ever a life could be described as a tale of two-thirds of high living and one-third of contemplation, this was it; the mother of ten who enjoyed the casual company of celebrity friends like Nancy Reagan and Bob Hope opted for an order which allowed her one visitor a month – and even then no touching given the two rows of iron bars between them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending