Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley
There was giddiness at the most recent City Council meeting, and elected members got even giddier every time Mike Cubbard tried to speak.
The Independent Councillor wondered aloud why this was so.
“Because you excite them, Mike,” replied his namesake, Mike Crowe (FF).
The tone of excitement was set for a hot and heavy meeting early-on when Independents on opposite ends of the political spectrum – Declan McDonnell (Right) and Collette Connolly (Left, but always right) – went head-to-head.
In the beginning, councillors were all on their best behaviour because the public gallery was fuller than usual. But everyone knew it’d never hold, and they soon reverted to type.
Declan misinterpreted Collette. Collette started shouting. She wasn’t about to allow “a mistruth to be recorded”.
“You can’t tell a mistruth and misrepresent me,” she bellowed.
Mayor Niall McNelis told her to stop shouting. She replied that he allowed Cllr Pádraig Conneely to shout earlier, without admonishment. “Don’t drag me into this!” roared Pádraig in response.
Declan relented and apologised. “What more do you want me to do?” he asked. Collette replied: “Not a qualified apology”. It fizzled out.
Later on, Pádraig was roaring and shouting about how he had been “vindicated” over his stance on Galway 2020. He had been “denigrated and attacked” by colleagues at the previous meeting for his outspokenness about Galway 2020 but he was “vindicated” and “will continue to be vindicated”.
Ollie Crowe (FF) said Pádraig was “running amok”. Urging McNelis to take control of the meeting, Ollie said Pádraig had spoken for seven minutes, when the limit was three.
In response, Pádraig used the term “bullshit”, which he subsequently withdrew (sort of, not really and very reluctantly), after effectively being asked to watch his language in front of the kids – there were nine NUIG journalism students in the public gallery.
Tetchy, Pádraig later admonished the mayor for using first names of the elected members. Mayor McNelis said “Pádraig” instead of “Councillor Conneely”, which drew the ire of the latter. “Do it seriously or don’t do it at all . . . it’s a joke,” he thundered.
Comrade Billy Cameron (Labour) as he exited the chamber for a much-needed smoke break after listening to Pádraig and others rant, summed it all up when he observed: “There’s no gravitas in here anymore.”
For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune