Date Published: 18-May-2011
Word in Fianna Fáil circles is that we can expect to see Micheál Martin in Galway in the not too distant future. The slow and painful process is beginning at a national level of attempting to rebuild the party after the electoral massacre of just a few weeks ago.
And, for anyone in Galway Fianna Fáil looking for ammunition in the past week, well, there may be two Fine Gael and one Labour TD in Galway West – but the potential closure threat to Galway Airport is a political hot potato that reminds just how politics can change so quickly.
There is no secret to precisely what Martin will be doing as he goes around the country. He will be ‘taking a leaf out of the Enda Kenny book’, holding mass meetings of hundreds of members, where the hope will be that the enthusiasm of getting together again in big numbers, will engender some of the old confidence, swagger and self-belief.
The climb back will be from an extraordinary low point and no one in FF is assuming that the party will bounce back. It has fallen to a record low of 20 Dáil seats, there is widespread demoralisation at grassroots level and the anger is still palpable at local level in places like Galway West, where many members feel they were mere cannon fodder in recent times.
But Martin will also know that if the opinion polls don’t start to drift in FF’s favour in the coming year, he doesn’t have until the 2014 Local Elections. The knives will be out for him . . . just as they were for Kenny only a year ago!
However, I hear word on the grapevine that in some cases they are not waiting for the national effort –Martin will also be going to Galway East as part of his national tour, but there is word that the former minister and TD, Noel Treacy, has been quietly doing some work at grassroots level there already.
A huge task lies ahead of Treacy and others in places like Ballinasloe and Loughrea before the next Local Elections where the party must start by winning back Council seats, but against a very different ‘new’ FG with Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon and Deputy Paul Connaughton Jnr setting the pace.
A comeback in the Locals was the foundation of the Fine Gael revival after their 2002 General Election disaster and the 2014 Local Election date seems to be the key one now being set throughout the FF organisation.
However, FF are not the only ones, mind you, who are mindful of the need to keep on working on the grassroots. I hear that new Labour TD Colm Keaveney has not been allowing things to slip – there is talk of branch-building going on and even some high-level recruitment and Keaveney has been active in the Dáil.
After all those nights of slogging in the rain from door-to-door, Keaveney is determined to hold on to that seat, though the outburst of Tommy Broughan TD during the week, when he had harsh words to say about the Fine Gael-Labour Government, shows how the pressure will mount in time to come, especially in a huge majority and with Labour tied to unhappy choices.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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.