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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Chivalrous’ Cheevers skips walk down aisle with Classy Clodagh!

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Christmas may be a time for peace and goodwill but there wasn’t much of either in evidence on Christmas Eve during the City Council’s annual outing to Midnight Mass at Galway Cathedral.

Eight of the 18 elected members didn’t make it this year, possibly due to Covid-19 restrictions, and two of those who did – Alan Cheevers and Clodagh Higgins – had little goodwill for one another at the beginning of the ceremony.

Regular readers will recall that Cheesy Cheevers and Classy Clodagh, despite representing different parties – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, respectively – had been ‘besties’ since they were elected to City Hall in May 2019.

That was until Classy Clodagh and her FG colleagues snubbed FF and formed a mayoral pact with a Dolly Mixture of councillors when the original Rainbow pact broke down last September.

Cheesy Cheevers took rejection badly and it seems he hasn’t forgiven, or forgotten, being led on by the Blueshirts.

At Midnight Mass, the councillors, in all their robed finery, had to form pairs on their way to the altar before taking to their pews.

It was working out that Alan Cheevers and Clodagh Higgins would be paired off but the former doubled back, a move that prompted an “It’s Christmas Eve, Alan!” shriek from the latter.

Shunning a walk down the aisle with Clodagh, Alan instead rowed in beside his party colleague, Cllr Imelda Byrne, while Clodagh dropped back and paired off with the Greens’ Cllr Martina O’Connor.

Although one observer said that it was “just chivalry” on the part of Alan – Chivalrous Cheevers, anyone? – others present felt it was a pointed and deliberate snub. “It was shocking carry-on on Christmas Eve,” snorted one Council colleague. Another said: “There were nearly slaps at the Cathedral – you wouldn’t see it in Croker!”

Could be a portent of what’s to come when the Council settles back in 2021.

(Photo: Councillor Clodagh Higgins)
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

Bridie O’Flaherty delivers – from beyond the grave!

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Even years after their deaths, some Galway politicians are still being credited with securing works.

At a recent meeting of Galway City Council, during discussion about the BusConnects project on the Dublin Road, it was outlined how a traffic lights junction would be installed at the entrance to Merlin Park Hospital as part of the overall works.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there was nothing new about this proposal – it had been first mooted by the late Councillor Bridie O’Flaherty in The Connacht Sentinel newspaper more than 30 years ago.

Bridie, a former Mayor who retired from politics in 1999 and died in 2008, had for a long time campaigned for the lights.

Her daughter, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind), confirmed to the meeting it was at least 35 years since her mother had proposed traffic lights at the hospital entrance.

Another former mayor, Cllr Angela Lynch-Lupton (FG), who retired from politics in 2004 and died in 2007, was credited by Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind) for championing a pedestrian bridge on the old Clifden Railway Bridge – a ‘Millennium Project’ that should have been built over 20 years ago but looks set to proceed in the coming years.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said credit for the bridge was also due to former Fianna Fáil Minister, Séamus Brennan, a Salthill man who was TD for Dublin South until his death in 2008.

“He put it forward as a Millennium Project and I was Mayor at the time,” said Cllr McDonnell.

Maybe when the projects are eventually brought to fruition, they could be named after their original supporters.

The Bridie O’Flaherty traffic light junction doesn’t necessarily trip off the tongue, but the (Séamus) Brennan Bridge has a ring to it.

(Photo by Joe O’Shaughnessy: The late Bridie O’Flaherty with her daughter Terry in 1999).

This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City centre streets to be dug up – yet again

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From this Week’s Galway City Tribune – Just days after the annual tourist season kicked off with the St Patrick’s weekend festivities, an area of the city’s main throughfare is to be dug up yet again.

The City Council confirmed this week that “upgrade works” at the junction between High Street, Shop Street and Mainguard Street are to commence next week, drawing the ire of local business people and residents.

One local councillor and businessman said the works, which brought huge disruption while being carried out on other stretches of the route in recent years, should have been carried out while footfall was lower in January and February.

Cllr Níall McNelis told the Galway City Tribune that business people in the area were outraged at the news, and despite assurances from the Council that the works would be done “without major disruptions”, bitter experience has taught them otherwise.

“They’re outraged, to be blunt. They just can’t believe this is happening now,” he said.

“Everyone understands that these works are necessary, but this is going to take weeks out of what should be one of their busiest times.”

Works in the area were left incomplete as a result of the visit of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine in 2019.

In a statement issued by the Council, Director of Services Patrick Greene said the works should be “substantially completed by early June”.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

What a melt: proposed bylaws put 20-minute limit on ice cream vans in Galway!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Ice cream vans will only be allowed to sell to the public for 20 minutes before being obliged to move on to a different location if proposed new bylaws for casual trading in Galway are adopted.

The 2023 regulations to replace the 2011 bylaws will also outlaw any single use plastic products to be given out or sold by stall holders, including bottles, cutlery, containers, single use sachets, plates and straws. Compostable or reusable alternatives must be used instead of single use plastics.

The maximum time that the ice cream mobile unit can be stationary at any one location is 20 minutes.

Traders will avoid huge cost increases seen elsewhere – it will cost €267.50 annually per bay for Eyre Square (up marginally from €250). In St Nicholas’ Market it will be €69.50 per linear metre – generally equating to €139 for regular size pitches, an increase of €9.

Stall holders will again have to buy a separate licence to trade on Sundays and for the market Wednesday to Friday in July and August. But they will be able to set up shop for free at Christmas if they hold a licence for Saturday or Sunday.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read more on the draft Casual Trading Bylaws, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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