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.
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.