Counting underway in Presidential election – with Michael D Higgins on course for landslide victory
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The first votes are being counted in the Presidential election and blasphemy referendum.
The exit polls suggest Michael D Higgins will comfortably win the election, and that blasphemy will be repealed from the Constitution.
It looks like a landslide victory for President Higgins – with two exit polls putting the current President on course to be re-elected with between 56% and 58% of the vote.
Businessman Peter Casey looks as though he will place second – securing 21% support in a surprise turnaround in the last week of polling.
His comments that Travellers should not be given ethnic status angered many, but clearly appealed to a significant amount of the electorate.
Sinn Féin will have to pore over why their campaign failed.
Sinn Fein’s candidate Liadh Ni Riada polled worse than Martin McGuinness in 2011 with the exit poll showing she only secured between 7 and 8 per cent of the vote.
The party has been criticised for being slow to announce their candidate but the party’s health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly is blaming the poor turnout.
Sean Gallagher will finish on between 5.5% and 7% according to the exit polls – far short of the half a million votes he got in 2011.
Pieta House founder Senator Joan Freeman will finish with around 6%, while businessman Gavin Duffy conceded overnight and is likely to get just 2% support.
Mr Duffy says he has no regrets about his decision to run for office.
He has tweeted his congratulations to Michael D Higgins, and wished him all the best for his second term.
Green light for Galway’s first Wetherspoons at Eglinton Street
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The green light has been given for Galway’s first Wetherspoons pub at Eglinton Street in the city.
The project will involve the transformation of the former Carbon Nightclub premises.
Wetherspoons bought the property in 2019, but COVID-19 saw the plans shelved for several years.
Planning permission was finally sought last summer for the multi-million euro plan, which has now been approved by city planners.
“The Three Red Sails” will be a two-storey bar and restaurant with a rooftop terrace – and Galway’s student population have been identified as the main target market.
The latest the bar would open would be 12.30am on Friday and Saturday, with earlier closing times Sunday through Thursday.
A number of local submissions were lodged – including a local business that took issue with some elements of the plan, but ultimately wished them well.
There were also submissions from local residents living near the premises, who raised concerns around noise pollution and anti-social behavior.
In the end, city planners have cleared the way for Wetherspoons to set up their first premises in Galway – with 23 conditions attached to the approval.
Survey finds public in Connacht score 53% in “financial literacy”
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new survey has found the public in Connacht score 53% in “financial literacy”.
Financial literacy refers to the knowledge and skills needed to make important financial decisions.
The score for Connacht was in line with the national average, but Bank of Ireland, who commissioned the survey, say that figure lags behind what it should be.
In comparison, the average score in Australia is 64%; Germany is 66%, and the UK scored 67%.
The Irish survey also revealed a striking difference across gender and age, with women scoring almost 10% lower than men.
18-34 years old scored the lowest at 48%, while those over 65 scored the highest at 58%.
While one third of those surveyed claimed to know about mortgages, only one fifth said they’re familiar with investments and pensions.
Almost 60 percent said they review their personal finances every month.
Fitzmaurice says Green Party in Government is “pup pulling the dog”
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Local TD Michael Fitzmaurice has taken aim at the Green Party’s role in Government, saying it’s a case of the “pup pulling the dog around the field”.
During a Dáil debate, he also criticised the “genius” who advised the Labour Party they could build a million homes in ten years.
It comes as the ban on no-fault evictions ends at midnight tonight.
Deputy Fitzmaurice said the Green Party seem to be dictating the pace, and it’s at the expense of rural Ireland.