Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Political World

Fitzmaurice triumph puts the cat among the pigeons

Published

on

Food for thought.....newly election TD Michael Fitzmaurice with his predecessor Luke Ming Flanagan, during one of the turf cutting protest meetings.

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

The by-election in Roscommon-South Leitrim at the weekend was a little strange.  For one, the constituency itself is on its last legs and won’t be there by the time the next general election takes place either late next year or in early 2016. Secondly, the bookmakers got it horribly wrong; Ivan Connaughton was almost an unbackable favourite but still ended up nearly 3,000 votes behind Michael Fitzmaurice in the seventh and final count.

Thirdly, we have an unusual situation developing in the constituency. It’s now more likely than not that two of the three seats in Roscommon-Galway could be independent seats. And what will happen if Luke Ming Flanagan comes back? Curiouser and curiouser.

Sure there’s been a long tradition of Roscommon returning quirky results. I can remember Tom Fox, the original of the species when it came to hospital candidates, making the breakthrough a generation ago.

It also showed that Fianna Fáil can’t rely on the local election results as a weathervane for the general election. Sure the party performed well but those results often have a lot to do with local factors, incumbency and the personality of the candidate. Sure, Fianna Fáil were no longer electoral pariahs but its optimism about a big comeback was overstated.

The only silver lining for Fianna Fáil at the weekend was the fact that Sinn Féin did not win the other by-election. If Cathal King had won Dublin South West, it would have cemented the notion that Sinn Féin was a party on an inexorable rise and that was in the process of shutting out Fianna Fáil in the South, in the same way that it shut out the SDLP in the South.

In the event, Fianna Fáil did not do too badly in the election. It won some 22 per cent of the vote – in a general election situation that will be enough to win the party a seat, even if it doesn’t attract transfers.

Fianna Fáil big problem is that outside its own supporters, it’s not feeling too much love from others. After the disaster of 2011, it is attracting more transfers than Sinn Féin but not that much more.

That should be a concern for the party. It’s not picking up transfers from floating voters – outside its own supporters and those who might have a residual ‘grá’ for the party, it is not just getting it.

Fitzmaurice picked up 8,500 transfers in the seven counts compared to less than 5,000 for Connaughton.

I wrote earlier this week that it was like a stage in the Tour de France when there is a lone breakaway rider and we slowly watch him being reeled and then gobbled up by the peleton in the latter stages of the race.

In the early stages of the election, I though the fact Fitzmaurice was from Galway and was a Galway councillor might go against him a little. But not a bit of it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Corporation Tax provides cash for Budget giveaway

Published

on

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe: "the needs of the people are significant".

World of Politics with Harry McGee

I have seen some extraordinary budgets in my time. There were the giveaway budgets (Fianna Fáil 2001 and again in 2007) just before general elections.

There were the Covid budgets that allowed enough cash to pay everybody still in a job and pay everybody who was out of a job.

There were the hair shirt budgets (from 2008 to 2014) when the country was going down the tubes.

And there was Charlie McCreevy’s infamous decentralisation budget which was a great idea but a lousy way to go about it.

This week’s Budget fitted snugly into that category of out-of-the ordinary. In addition to a whopping €6.9 billion of additional funding in the Budget itself, there was an estimated €4.1bn extra in once-off spending in the cost-of-living package. So that’s €11 billion in spending altogether on Tuesday. It’s a big chunk of change in anybody’s language.

It was pure auction politics. First the Government said it would put an additional €1 billion in the once-off package, then it said it would put €2 billion into it, then we heard rumours of €3 billion and now it’s topped €4bn. Of course, the auction was joined into by the Opposition. They have all proposed packages that will involve considerably more spending than the Government’s Euromillions. Sinn Fein is at €13.5 billion. God knows what People Before Profit proposes to spend (it’s not easy to quantify) but its stratospheric. At least its message of spending everything we have got, nationalising everything we have got, is consistent.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Prodigal son Bertie could be set for return to the fold

Published

on

Bertie Ahern speaking at the announcement of the Good Friday Agreement.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

I’d actually forgotten that Bertie Ahern wasn’t a member of Fianna Fáil until the issue was brought up at the parliamentary party meeting of TDs and senators last week.

He was in Coventry or Purdah – or wherever politicians with a whiff of scandal around them are put – for a number of years but he’s been back at the centre of the political and public stage for so long now, you begin to forget that he was ever away.

And so last week, Donegal senator Niall Blaney stood up and addressed his colleagues right at the end of the meeting. He said 2023 would mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The party needed to put its best foot forward to commemorate it.

Out of the blue, he then said that should include welcoming Bertie Ahern back into the party fold. He called on the party to act in “a spirit of inclusivity”.

It was one of those moments that Conamara people have a great expression for. ‘Tháinig sé Aniar Aduaidh orainn’ (it surprised us from the North West).

It had not been on the meeting agenda but now it was very much on the party’s agenda. Others piped up. Offaly TD Barry Cowen said that the time had come to readmit Ahern to Fianna Fáil. Over the next 24 hours colleagues joined in, saying a lot of water had flown under the bridge since a decade ago.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Sinn Féin still to learn that populism comes at a price

Published

on

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald meets up with US speaker Nancy Pelosi on her American tour last week.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

The Dáil kicked off again yesterday with the usual circus of press conferences, tetchy exchanges in the chamber and protests outside the gate. The first private members motion was tabled by the main opposition party, Sinn Féin, putting forward its own measures to assist with household bills.

Its main suggestion is to boot out this government and put Mary Lou McDonald in.

The regional group is next in line with a private members motion on Thursday. Surprise, surprise, it’s about the security of electricity supply.

The usual pre-Dáil niceties have now been dispensed with. All the political parties held parliamentary away days – or think-ins as they have been dubbed. I’m sure policy and strategy is discussed at some of them but the name of the game is to get your name up in lights before the Oireachtas kicks off.

As night follows day, it will only be a matter of days before the first no-confidence motion is tabled against a Government Minister. Given the huge price hikes in electricity and gas bills, it could be Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan who finds himself in the crosshairs of the opposition parties.

Then there’s the legislative programme. At the start of each new term, the Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers releases a list of about 40 Bills that are earmarked for publication before the session comes to an end. Getting half of them published would represent an exceptionally good performance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending