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Galway East

Connaughton in ‘grave danger’ of losing seat

Declan Tierney

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Party analysts now admit that Deputy Paul Connaughton is in grave danger of losing his seat after just one term in the Dail.

They say that he will not secure enough transfers to bridge the gap between him and party colleague Ciaran Cannon.

Connaughton currently trails Cannon by more than 500 first preferences according to the tally figures and party representatives believe that he may not be in a position to bridge this gap.

And to add to his woes, it looks as if Cannon will be the main beneficiary when Lorraine Higgins of Labour is eventually eliminated as both reside in the Athenry area.

It would be a crushing blow to the Connaughton clan as his father Paul senior had previously held that seat.

City East

TALLIES: Fine Gael will struggle to hold seat in City East

Dara Bradley

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Fine Gael will struggle to hold its seat in Galway City East.

City Councillor John Walsh – a brother of former Fine Gael TD in Galway West, Brian Walsh – is on 5.7% with three-quarters of the boxes opened.
The tallies indicate that Mairéad Farrell of Sinn Féin is also under pressure on 6.75%.
Fianna Fáil is in with a strong shout of taking two seats with Cllr Michael John Crowe (10%) and running mate Alan Cheevers (16%) polling well.
Independents Terry O’Flaherty (14%) and Declan McDonnell (12%) are going well and will hold; but Noel Larkin (8%) is in a battle to retain his seat.
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City East

TALLIES: Cheevers looks set to take a seat in City East

Stephen Corrigan

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With just over half the boxes tallied for Galway City East, Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers looks set to take a seat, polling at over 17 per cent of first preferences.

With Mervue, Ballybane and Tirellan polling stations still to be tallied, Cheevers has taken the lead, with Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty slipping into second with 16 per cent.

Incumbent Fianna Fáil councillor Mike Crowe is on 10.5 per cent, with Independent councillor Declan McDonnell on 8 per cent.

The Green’s Claire Hillery looks to be benefitting from the party’s nationwide jump in the polls, collecting 6.5 per cent of first preferences.

Sitting Councillors Noel Larkin (Ind), Mairéad Farrell (SF) and John Walsh (FG) are polling at 7.5 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

Also still in contention is the Social Democrats’ Owen Hanley with 6.6 per cent of the vote.

City East Tallies with 50% of boxes open

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Galway East

Deal demands better focus on rural Ireland initiatives

Declan Tierney

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New Galway East TD Sean Canney with his wife Gearldine.

A concession on turf cutting, an examination of the decision to close rural Garda stations and post offices – as well as flood alleviation – are all on the shopping list for at least two of Galway’s independent TDs before any agreement to support a new Government.

Both Michael Fitzmaurice from Glinsk and Sean Canney from Tuam have been in discussions with the main parties since the general election with a view to securing their support.

They are part of the six-strong Independent Alliance which also includes Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Shane Ross – but top of their list concerns they have regarding rural Ireland.

It is understood that part of any deal would see some concession on the whole turf cutting controversy, while the issue of the closure of rural Garda Stations and rural post offices are also high on the agenda.

Deputy Canney said that so too was the recent flooding crisis and added that many farmers and individual householders were still suffering.

The Independent Alliance will hold further discussions with the parties and Deputy Canney emphasised that they were not demanding ministerial positions but just a better deal for rural Ireland.

They are demanding, however, that there will be a full Minister for Rural Affairs appointed once the new government is formed.

Deputy Canney added that it was being suggested that a TD in each constituency would report back to this department.

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