Date Published: 29-Jun-2011
A leaner, more fit-for-purpose Fianna Fail was outlined to a meeting of party rank and file members by FF Leader Micheal Martin TD in Galway last week – though he admitted the party faced a huge challenge in rebuilding itself.
He promised to push ahead with a greater democratisation of the party from grassroots level upwards, with the introduction of ‘one man one vote’ a priority reform as ordinary members got more power, especially in key decision making such as selection conventions.
And, he said, Fianna Fail would be ‘issues led.’ Among his proposals is the appointment of a series of ‘local representatives’ around the country in areas where the party does not have councillors – this is an effort to build up strength on the ground in the wake of huge losses in the 2009 Local Elections. This left the party with whole stretches of countryside in which it does not have a councillor.
Last week’s Salthill meeting, which was attended by 200 members from all over the West Galway constituency, was one of seventeen held so far around the country as FF picks up the pieces from its worst ever electoral defeat, and its worst ever share of the first preference vote nationally (16 per cent).
In Galway West, FF is down to one TD (Eamon Ó Cuív) in a constituency where it once held three seats, and in Galway East there is is just one TD (Micheal Kitt), where a few elections ago, it held three also. Compared with this, Fine Gael has four young first-time TDs in the county (Paul Connaughton, Ciaran Cannon, Sean Kyne and Brian Walsh), while Labour also has a newcomer in Derek Nolan.
Said Micheal Martin” “Taking the whole broad picture – and there are places where we have no candidates and no TDs – we face a very difficult and challenging journey, but I feel we can make it from the feedback I am getting at our meetings.”
He said the meeting in Galway the previous night was about building back the party. The Galway people had shown themselves to be passionate about the party and its future and, at times, had been outspoken and certainly had not ‘pulled their punches’ when it came to speaking their minds about the situation in which Fianna Fail found itself.
The meeting was closed to the press and to the ordinary members of the public but I understand that there were a few hard-hitting contributions from the floor where rank-and-file members vented their anger and annoyance at what they saw as a loss of economic sovereignty and the electoral massacre suffered by the party.
To some extent, these interventions were a follow-on to a recent Comhairle Dail Ceantair meeting held in Moycullen where some of the the contributions were very tough indeed. Members essentially wanted to know what had happened to a party which they had been entrusted to a Cabinet and the leadership.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.