Supporting Local News

Broadcaster approached for Galway County Council run

One of the county’s best-known broadcasters is to tip his toe into the world of politics – primed to announce his candidacy for next year’s local elections.

Head of Sport with Galway Bay FM, Ollie Turner, is soon to declare his intention to run as a candidate for Fine Gael in the Tuam Municipal Council area.

It had been widely anticipated for quite some time that he would become an FG candidate and it is also expected that he will be in with a strong chance of winning a seat.

Fine Gael currently has two seats in the seven-seater electoral area and the party is anxious to increase this by at least one.

As it stands, poll-topper Cllr Pete Roche in Abbeyknockmoy and Headford’s Cllr Andrew Reddington are the party’s two sitting representatives in the area.

But Fine Gael are expected to put up their strongest team for next June’s local elections with the ticket also expected to include Siobhan McHugh, the daughter of former councillor Tom McHugh, who runs the local Ard Ri House Hotel in Tuam.

With Roche and Reddington already confirmed as candidates, the addition of Turner and McHugh is viewed as the party’s strongest line-up in recent years as well as being geographically well-placed.

Turner lives in Dunmore but played senior football with Milltown while Siobhan McHugh will be hoping to tap into the almost 1,300 first preference votes that her father received in the 2019 local elections without being returned.

It is known that Turner has been approached by Fine Gael party hierarchy on a number of occasions in recent months and he has let it be known that he is a willing candidate.

There is also speculation that if he wins a seat in the Tuam Municipal Council area next year, he will be lined up to represent Fine Gael in the next general election for the Galway East constituency.

The Galway Bay FM broadcaster has also been named as one of the judges for the 2023 Rose of Tralee which takes place next week.

Well known on the Rose Circuit, Ollie has compered the Galway Rose for the past few years along with other Rose selections throughout the country.

He was also one of the judges for the International Rose selection in 2018. He joins fellow judges Nuala Carey of RTE and Nicola Dunne who won the Rose of Tralee in 2012.

Cllr Pete Roche said that it would be great to get the likes of Ollie Turner and Siobhan McHugh on board as it would present the best possible opportunity to increase their number of seats.

“I think it would be a great team and it would have candidates in strategic parts of the municipal council area. These are exciting times for the party in the Tuam area,” he added.

In the Tuam area, there are four Fianna Fail councillors (Mary Hoade, Donagh Killilea, Joe Sheridan and Colm Keaveney) with Cllr Karey McHugh being the independent local representative.

Cllr McHugh is retiring from politics in September as she is expecting her first child.

She will be replaced on the Council by her brother Stephen who will be co-opted next month.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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