Bradley Bytes a sort of political column with Dara Bradley
Do any of you remember Lorraine Higgins, or Lovely Lorraine, as she was affectionately known?
She was the Athenry-based former Labour Party Senator, who made a bold bid for a Dáil seat for the party in Galway East in 2016.
Higgins polled a very respectable 10% of first preference votes in the conservative three-seat constituency but ultimately lost out to Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and an Independent from the FF/FG gene pool.
It was always going to be an uphill battle trying to retain the Labour seat won by Colm Keaveney in 2011 (especially given that he jumped ship and flew the FF flag), but Lovely Lorraine was collateral damage in the electorate’s backlash against Labour.
She went on to become chief executive of trade group Retail Excellence, and just before Christmas was appointed as director of strategy and public policy with a Dublin-based communications company, MKC Communications.
Now another Higgins has entered the political fray. Clodagh Higgins, her sister, has been added to the Fine Gael ticket, and will be looking to win a seat in Galway City West in May’s local elections.
Ever since former mayor, John Mulholland, lost his seat on Galway City Council in 2009, ‘the village’ has been without a representative living in Salthill. Clodagh is bidding to change that, and is courting the Salthill electorate in particular.
Knocknacarra is currently well served by councillors, including the King of Knocknacarra, Donal Lyons, the current mayor, Niall McNelis, and Cappagh Road based Shinner, Cathal Ó Conchúir.
Pearce Flannery, her party running mate, is also in Knocknacarra and Peter Keane is based in Taylor’s Hill – so there’s a gap in Salthill.
With Catherine Connolly in the Dáil, and with her sister Colette opting to run in City Central, rather than City West (now that Claddagh has moved into City Central), City West is also dominated by men. Again, Clodagh wants to change that.
Resident in Salthill for the past 10 years, where she is practising as a psychologist (they could do with one of them at City Hall!), Clodagh, a married mother of a toddler son, is the new fresh face of Fine Gael.
It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it but Clodagh, we hear, is just as lovely as Lorraine – and she’s classy too. Watch out for Classy Clodagh, coming to a doorstep near you soon!
For more Bradley Bytes on FF’s fada fight, Eddie Hoare’s endorsements, Mike Cubbard out in cold, and Aontú’s newcomers, see this week’s Galway City Tribune