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.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.