Fianna Fáil takes twin blow on Council front

County Hall...talks.

The biggest party in local politics across the city and county will have no hand, act or part at the helm of either Galway County of City Councils.

Because while Fianna Fáil made all the running in trying to broker a deal with independents to ensure control of the County Council, Fine Gael pulled the rug from under them by united with a group of independents to form a majority on the new authority.

And that completed a miserable week for the party because control of Galway City Council also appeared to slip away from Fianna Fáil late last week, as a ‘Rainbow Coalition’ emerged to block the two Civil War parties.

Fianna Fáil, with five city councillors, had been in pole position to form the mayoral pact on the City Council, with three Fine Gael city councillors, and two or three others.

However, an unlikely alliance of six Independents (three ex-PDs, Declan McDonnell, Donal Lyons and Terry O’Flaherty as well as Mike Cubbard, Colette Connolly and Noel Larkin), one Labour (Niall McNelis), two Greens (Pauline O’Reilly and Martina O’Connor) and one Social Democrat (Owen Hanley) has agreed a pact for the next five years.

But even that pales beside Fianna Fáil’s disappointment in the county where they hold 15 of the 30 seats. It is understood that the ‘father of the house’ Cllr Jimmy McClearn from Killimor will be the first Cathaoirleach of the new County Council when it meets tomorrow (Friday).