Date Published: 10-May-2011
By Declan Tierney
In an unprecedented political manoeuvre, Councillor Padraig Conneely is set to become the Mayor of Galway for the second time in the space of four years.
The controversial Fine Gael councillor, who was at the centre of a recent ‘boycott’ by City Council officials, is set to deny party colleague Councillor Hildegarde Naughton her chance of becoming first citizen.
It was felt that because Cllr Conneely served as Mayor in 2008/2009, the next Fine Gael nominee for the top post would be Cllr Naughton, who fought the recent General Election and polled exceptionally well.
Under the terms of the ‘Mayoral Pact’ drawn up in 2009, it was agreed that Cllr Naughton should serve as Mayor for the 2011/12 term.
However, there is every possibility that she will not be given the opportunity to serve as Mayor during the current ‘lifespan’ of the Council, as it seems that Cllr Conneely has engaged in a separate deal with Council ‘rookie’ Frank Fahy, who was co-opted following Brian Walsh’s election to the Dáil.
Under the terms of the Mayoral Pact between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Independents, the first of five years was to be served by an Independent (Cllr Declan McDonnell in 2009/2010) the second by Fianna Fail (currently held by Cllr Michael Crowe), the third by Fine Gael (likely to be Cllr Conneely), the fourth by an Independent (widely expected to be Terry O’Flaherty) and the fifth by Fine Gael (likely to be Frank Fahy).
The move has angered supporters of Cllr Naughton – they believe that she deserves the honour and the profile of Mayor of Galway as she is certain to be a Fine Gael candidate in the next General Election.
But Cllr Conneely also had a desire for the job and in a ‘sweetheart’ deal with party colleague Frank Fahy, he looks certain to take over from outgoing Mayor Michael Crowe.
At a meeting of the three FG councillors a fortnight ago, councillors Naughton and Conneely expressed an interest in becoming the next Mayor. Frank Fahy indicated at that stage that he would be backing Conneely.
There was an expectation that Cllr Naughton would be the Fine Gael nomination, but it now seems as if Cllr Conneely has scuppered that prospect.
“I expressed an interest in becoming the next Mayor,” she told The Sentinel. “I know that there are two votes against me but nothing has been written in stone as yet.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.