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Bradley Bytes

FG (sky) blues over Michelle’s Corofin colours!

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Bradley Bytes met a Blueshirt a couple of days ago who told us some of the old-guard in Salthill and Knocknacarra aren’t best pleased with the party’s new candidate in the West Ward, Michelle Murphy.

Michelle ticks a lot of boxes.

She’s a woman, for one thing, which does FG no harm in the gender quota department.

She’s young and presentable, which helps FG get away from its fuddy-duddy and stuffy image of grey-haired males, who populate the party.

Nobody else really wanted the nomination, so that solved a selection headache.

We’ve not had the pleasure yet of having to deal with Michelle but by all accounts she’s fairly competent, which isn’t always a ‘given’ in politics.

So far, so good.

The problem for Michelle is she’s running for a seat in the local elections . . . yet she’s anything but local.

Co-opted to Galway City Council to replace Senator Hildergarde Naughton, Michelle is now representing the people of Salthill and Knocknacarra while living in Corofin.

Not a million miles away but a good distance nonetheless.

The Blueshirts in the area could put up with that, as long she pulls her weight and attends meetings etcetera in suburbs west of the city . . . but what some of them couldn’t stomach, apparently, was the sight of Michelle donning the green and yellow of her home village, Corofin, at the recent county football final between the North Galway club and Salthill/Knocknacarra.

Corofin won that day by a long shot but Michelle would do well not to gloat too much if she’s to rely on the FG GAA fraternity to get the vote out in the local elections later this year.

What with two rivals having strong GAA connections (David Burke of Fianna Fáil and independent Donal Lyons were both chairman of the club) Michelle should invest in a sky blue jersey . . . And keep her Corofin colours at home!

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mayor’s malevolent mimic strikes with sick message

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

It was late on Monday night, November 16, when a male Galway City councillor’s phone rang repeatedly.

When the calls went unanswered, at half past midnight his phone pinged, signalling a WhatsApp had been received.

The message, purporting to be from Mayor Mike Cubbard, disgusted the recipient.

It said: “Please answer your phone, this is an emergency my c*ck has swollen to four or five times its normal size.” The texter left a message suggesting a solution which involved the councillor’s wife.

Mayor Mike hadn’t sent the message. This was just another sinister development and escalation in the ongoing online impersonation of the Independent councillor by a twisted and sick individual with a grudge.

Weeks earlier, Mayor Mike’s malevolent mimic sent a series of WhatsApp texts to a young, good-looking, left-leaning Dublin City Councillor. She, too, was shocked.

The person purporting to be Mayor Mike expressed a desire to see this woman’s breasts “bounce up and down” while they had sex. “What a man gotta do?”, it said.

That’s the PG version; the language used in the actual message was incredibly derogatory and coarse.

It wasn’t the first message sent to this elected representative purporting to be from Mayor Mike.

“I hope that didn’t come across weird,” said one message, and God only knows what ‘that’ referred to.

Another asked her if she was “still interested in taking part?” Again, Mayor Mike shudders to think what sort of sick event this woman was being invited to take part in, in his name. Not nice on his wife or kids to have those kind of messages going around, with his name attached.

The targeting of Mayor Mike began in mid-October. Several Galway City Councillors got messages purporting to be from Cubbard, like this one sent to Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG). “Hi Ed I am just passing on new contact number as I had to have phone repaired thanks.”

Using this ‘new’ number, the person pretending to be Mayor Mike created a WhatsApp group with several councillors, and messaged: “Hi all just think it is good for us to keep in communication with each other as a group can you please add those who I have missed as I do not have access to everyone’s number thanks Mike.”

Jessica Fletcher-like Cllr Owen Hanley (Soc Dem) smelt a rat, and replied: “You’ve missed someone. The mayor.”

He then took a screenshot and alerted the real Mayor Mike to what had happened.

That was October 15, days after Mayor Mike was vocal about right-wing anti-mask protestors. Since then at least two councillors have received sexually explicit messages.

Mayor Mike’s fear is that many more councillors received similar sexual innuendo, believing it to be from him. And he’s right to worry; one screenshot reveals that the impersonator had 68 unopened messages, presumably replies.

The Gardaí are investigating, but we should be worried – an attack on the mayor is an attack on us all, and on local democracy.
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cheevers takes the hump with FG over mayoral pact

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

The bitter fallout from the mayoral pact on Galway City Council lingers. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for local political anoraks. And more bitter it’s getting!

Over two months, the original ruling pact that formed after the May 2019 Local Election, collapsed. And yet the ill-feeling simmers.

The original pact that broke-up in September due to a row over Travellers, included: Noel Larkin, Declan McDonnell, Terry O’Flaherty, Donal Lyons, Mike Cubbard and Colette Connolly (all Ind), Níall McNelis (Lab), Martina O’Connor and Niall Murphy (Green).

The new pact, which holds power at City Hall now, is the old pact, minus McDonnell and Larkin, plus the three Fine Gaelers, Clodagh Higgins, Eddie Hoare and Frank Fahy.

Fianna Fáil’s five councillors had hoped to do a deal with McDonnell, Larkin and Fine Gael to freeze out the rainbow but the Blueshirts had a better offer.

In a pact with FF, there was room for only one FG mayor. And so, led by Frankeen, FG negotiated a deal without FF that included a mayoral term each for Classy Clodagh and Eligible Eddie, in the three remaining years before the next local election.

Not only has the new pact been the ruination of the relationship between the councillors formerly known as the PDs, (few words have been exchanged between Declan, Donal and Terry) it has damaged the FF/FG friendship.

FF newcomer Alan Cheevers, or Cheesy Cheevers as he’s known, had become friendly with FG since his election to the Council. Even some of his party colleagues had remarked it was a ‘bit odd’ that he was phoning the FGers, and Classy Clodagh in particular, on an almost daily basis for chats.

Well, no more. They may have been ‘besties’ for over a year but Cheevers has cut all ties with his FG compadrés.

As well as giving them the cold shoulder at Council meetings, Cheevers snubbed them virtually, too. He has removed or blocked Eddie and Clodagh from his friends list on Facebook.

While Eddie evidently hasn’t noticed, and Classy Clodagh described it as ‘kindergarten stuff’, Cheevers is boiling.

“I’m not impressed with the pact decision. We had an alliance from the start of Council with Fine Gael. They decided to shaft us to get two mayors,” he fumed.

For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway 2020 ‘not ungrateful’ about ‘dour’ RTÉ radio ads

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

As you know, RTÉ is national media partner of Galway 2020, the company set up to deliver the European Capital of Culture.

And as such, the national broadcaster promised “deliverables”, to use its own jargon, under the partnership.

This included pledges to broadcast The Late Late Show and other high-profile programmes from Galway, for example. It included collaboration on specific projects, such as a planned “major televised” midsummer concert at NUIG by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

The media partnership agreement with RTÉ also gave Galway 2020, “significant opportunities for branding”.

This involved RTÉ giving free advertising space to Galway 2020 on radio, television and online. Not only did RTÉ give over free airtime, they also produced the ad promotions for the group, like they did with other partnerships, such as Fleadh Cheoil.

But emails released under Freedom of Information (FOI) show the tensions between both organisations during the making of these ads, with Galway 2020 not altogether satisfied.

In August last year, Joe Hoban, Head of Communications and Corporate at RTÉ, told Fintan Maher, the then Communications Director of Galway 2020 who has since left, that the caveat was, “we are producing these from within our existing comms budget”.

“We work miracles” he said, with “some practical limitations”. But RTÉ puts forward “the best creative we can” to “produce something stunning”.

When Joe sent Fintan the results on September 6, he said the “piece is almost exactly as ideated and presented – a rare occurrence”. Alas, Galway 2020 wasn’t so sure!

Fintan replied that they “like the overall feel” of the TV ad, and then he listed all the things “we don’t like”. Fintan suggested: “Could you brighten this” and “beach doesn’t look great” and “heart looks anaemic”.

Most criticism was directed at the radio ad. “We don’t like the voice of the guy – it sounds dour”, Fintan said.

“Could he do more upbeat (voice)”, and “pace is very slow”, Fintan observed, with instructions to add and drop words.

Joe reminded Fintan that the Memorandum of Understanding “doesn’t commit RTÉ to producing the campaigns” but they did so “in the spirit of goodwill”. With limited budget, no extra resources and “challenging weather”, Joe replied, “we produced an ad of excellent overall quality”.

Agreeing to some tweaks, Joe said “we needed to be flexible with our expectations and realistic about what is achievable”. Regarding the radio, he said it was “a shame you don’t like it”.

“TG4 sourced us a west of Ireland actor with a Gaeilge blas (accent) to record it, and we felt he had nailed it”.

Fintan replied the “general agreement” in Galway 2020 was it was “too downbeat”. They “love the pronunciation of Gaeilge just the tone and pace is too slow”, and “we would rather a younger voice”.

He added the feedback on the ads, “was in no way to undermine” the support of RTÉ “or to appear in any way ungrateful”.
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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