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Connacht Tribune

Ethics Officer finds FF councillors did nothing wrong with €180,000 pot

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Four Fianna Fáil councillors in the Tuam area accused by colleagues of ‘hijacking’ a €180,000 fund, have been told they did nothing wrong.

The fund was allocated to Tuam Municipal Council as part of a €1 million allocation by the Government to the county’s five municipal councils in order to “strengthen municipal districts”.

While the other area councils agreed amongst themselves on where the money should be spent, agreement could not be reached.

Instead, the four Fianna Fáil councillors, who have control of the seven-member Tuam Municipal Council, decided where the money should be allocated, which infuriated the other three members.

The matter was referred to the Ethics Officer of Galway County Council who was asked to investigate if this contravened the Minister’s direction as to how the money should be spent.

Now, Fianna Fáil Chairman of Tuam Council, Cllr Donagh Killilea, has been informed that they did not contravene the ethical framework for local government and it was a democratic decision.

He said that it was a needless and expensive route to ask the Council’s Ethics Officer to investigate how they conduct their business as local representatives “given that there was never any clear evidence of wrong-doing.”

When the dispersal of the €180,000 was being discussed by the Tuam area councillors, it was the four Fianna Fáil members who used their majority vote to dictate where the money would be spent – the other three councillors were ‘left out in the cold’.

This infuriated Cllr Andrew Reddington (FG), Cllr Pete Roche (FG) and Cllr Karey McHugh (Ind) who accused the Fianna Fáil councillors of pulling ‘a political stunt’.

They also took issue with the fact that the other municipal districts arrived at a general consensus as to how the money should be spent.

A ‘behind closed doors’ meeting between the seven councillors to discuss the dispersal of the fund that was agreed, but it never took place.

In prompted Cllr Reddington to table a motion at a full Galway County Council meeting that the Ethics Officer investigate the manner in which the distribution of the €180,000 was being handled.

A report from Council Chief Executive Jim Cullen states that the Ethics Officer investigated the claims that the €180,000 was unfairly distributed between the four FF councillors.

But the official concluded that the matter was discussed at length and that the decision on the allocation of the funds was determined by a majority vote of the members.

The officer stated that the decision was based on a motion that was voted upon and duly carried and complied with the Minister’s requirements.

The Chief Executive along with the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Peter Keaveney, having considered the Ethics Officer’s report, have concluded that no further action is required.

“If every time we call for an investigation when a vote is won or lost, it is my opinion that we will never get any business done as a Municipal.

“It’s time to bury the sour grapes and get on with representing the people who elected us; the distractions of the past six months have to end,” Cllr Killilea added.

(Photo: Cllr Donagh Killilea)

Connacht Tribune

Galway’s snaring of Shefflin is riveting tale of the unexpected

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Galway's new hurling manager Henry Shefflin in action against the Tribesmen's David Collins during his legendary playing career with Kilkenny.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

The process took over a fortnight longer than expected, there were many twists and turns, but Galway hurling eventually got their man – and what a spectacular coup it represents.

How Galway ended up snaring Henry Shefflin as their new senior team manager was hardly straight forward, but the appointment of the Kilkenny legend to succeed Shane O’Neill has energised the county’s hurling heartlands.

That appeared an unlikely scenario over two weeks ago when the Galway Hurling Committee Chairman Paul Bellew – addressing a specially convened meeting of club delegates in the Lough Rea Hotel – spelt out how the search for a new hurling supremo had stalled. They would have to start all over again.

With the bush telegraph and social media going into overdrive with some wildly inaccurate commentary and a vacuum in terms of reliable information, Galway had to now move quickly to retake control of the situation and quell rising discontent.

But few anticipated that, within ten days, the county would have enticed the sport’s most decorated player to come West, especially a man whose allegiance to Kilkenny has been without compromise and was already perceived as Brian Cody’s successor in the Noreside dug out.

When Galway had begun their quest to fill the managerial vacancy, the initial scouting led to four candidates emerging – former boss Micheál Donoghue, outgoing minor supremo Brian Hanley, an external former inter-county manager (not Davy Fitzgerald) and a local coach who didn’t have a big profile and withdrew from the race within 48 hours.

Family reasons prevented the ‘outsider’ from getting involved, while Hanley found it difficult to commit to the selection process with Donoghue’s shadow hanging over events. In the end, officials never even got to the negotiating stage with Donoghue who opted out due to a combination of family responsibilities and the timing of a possible return to the Galway sideline.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

That’s the spirit!

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Roy enjoys one glass of whiskey every night before bed and only one, he stresses. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Lifestyle – Roy Court, born in Scotland and living in Craughwell, dedicated his career to improving the process of distilling spirits, especially whiskey. His job took him all over the world and involved a stint with the UN. His new book explains what’s involved in creating a great whiskey and is based on skills he gained during more than half a century in the business. He talks to STEPHEN GLENNON.

If there is one thing that Roy Court knows about, it is what constitutes a good whiskey. So much so, he has written a book about it called How We Put An ‘e’ in Whiskey.

A native of Scotland, Roy, who worked as a chief chemist for William Grant & Sons and as a development distiller for John Jameson & Sons (later Irish Distillers) moved to Ireland in 1965. He has spent the last 40 years in the West of Ireland.

Sitting in his home in Craughwell, alongside his daughter Ruth, who has followed in his footsteps into brewing and distilling, the 84-year-old reflects on a career that took him all over the world.

Born in 1937, Roy began his journey as a laboratory assistant in Scotland with the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) – based at Menstrie, near Alloa – in 1955. He also attended third- level education on a part-time basis, qualifying as a research chemist.

“It (the laboratory) was the old Glenochil Distillery, at which my grandfather had been one of the excise officers,” he explains. “The distillery was closed many years and they had it converted to a yeast factory, but, onsite, they had various laboratories because it was part of the distillers’ company.”

The scientific work for the five main grain distilleries was centralised in these laboratories, and Roy’s duties included measuring the moisture content in maize and malt, along with malt analysis.

Through his studies, Roy identified a better way to speed up kilning in the malting process.

“I had the idea that when the water was evaporating, it actually holds down the temperature. So, what you should do is hit it with a lot of heat at first, get rid of the excess water, and then slow it down.

“Anyway, the company took this on and I was sent to the various maltings to supervise doing that, which resulted in them increasing their production.”

In the whiskey industry (whiskey is spelled without the ‘e’ in Scotland), Roy became hot property and was offered a job with Associated British Maltsters in England. He spent three years with them before he was head-hunted by Scottish firm William Grant & Sons and became their chief chemist in a new distillery in Girvan in South Ayrshire.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Familiar foes are set for intriguing senior decider

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Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s Claire Dunleavey and Claregalway's Charlotte Cooney in action during the 2019 Galway senior ladies football final in Milltown. The clubs meet in the decider for the third consecutive year on Saturday.

By Ivan Smyth

IT will be a case of familiar foes meeting when Kilkerrin/Clonberne and Claregalway square off in the county final in Annaghdown on Saturday (4pm). Willie Ward’s all conquering Kilkerrin/Clonberne side will be aiming to win their ninth county title in a row, but they come up against a Claregalway outfit who drew with them in the group stages of this year’s championship.

The sides will meet in the county final for the third year running and the fifth time in seven years. Last year’s decider ended in a nine point win for Kilkerrin/Clonberne, although the victory margin slightly flattered the champions. Claregalway manager Eugene Kearney is aware of the difficult task his side faces when they come up against this all conquering Kilkerrin/Clonberne outfit.

“We are well used to the opposition and we are looking forward to taking them on. We have a huge task ahead of us. We are under no illusions to the size of the task we face. In terms of preparation, we have tried to improve ourselves in the year since. We are just focused on our own dressing room and our own players. We are trying to improve the mindset and show we can achieve with Kilkerrin/Clonberne have.”

Kearney’s charges will be monitoring the fitness of Ciara Burke who is suffering with a hamstring issue. His side have impressed in this year’s competition remaining unbeaten, while drawing with Saturday’s opponents in the group stage. They ruthlessly put Corofin to the sword in the last four, prevailing by 5-17 to 2-5.

“If you stand still you are going backwards so that’s why we aren’t going through the motions in any game. We’ve had a full squad since the Coen Cup finished up so we have been able to work together and improve game by game. We are under no illusions to the size of the task. I’m quietly confident in this squad’s ability, but it will all come down to who is better on the day.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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