Date Published: 04-May-2011
The political devastation is remarkable. The smoke of the Senate battle cleared at the weekend and only two FF ‘soldiers of destiny’ are now left standing at national level in Galway – TDs Éamon Ó Cuív and Micheál Kitt.
In what Fianna Fáil once chose to call their Galway ‘heartland’ they now have two Oireachtas representatives, while they face a combined strength in other parties of ten TDs and Senators in the county.
Around them are four Fine Gael TDs (Brian Walsh, Sean Kyne, Paul Connaughton and Ciaran Cannon), two Labour TDs (Derek Nolan and Colm Keaveney), one Independent TD (Noel Grealish), two Fine Gael Senators (Fidelma Healy-Eames and Michael Mullins), and one Sinn Fein Senator (Trevor Ó Clochartaigh).
It’s all a far cry from the day when Fianna Fáil held four out of the nine Dáil seats in Galway, even though the PDs had been founded and Bobby Molloy had left their ranks. Now they hold two out of the nine in the two Galway constituencies.
At a purely local level the rout of Fianna Fáil is no less complete. Twenty years ago at the time of the 1991 Local Elections, Fianna Fáil entered those elections with 17 of the seats on Galway County Council. Now the party has 7 seats on the council after the disaster of the 2009 Local Elections.
They were massacred in the 2009 contests in areas like Ballinasloe and Loughrea, with the FF vote sinking to to 25 per cent of the first preferences, down nearly ten per cent.
In Galway City the fall has been no less dramatic … going into the 1991 Local Elections, Fianna Fáil held 6 of the 15 seats on Galway City Council. That has fallen to 3 in the 2009 Locals, though Galway City was almost a ‘highlight’ for FF in those Locals in that FF succeeded in holding on to its three seats.
Much as they may not like to admit it, the start of the decline goes back over 20 years – in my opinion, the slide began with the foundation of the Progressive Democrats, the loss of TD Bobby Molloy, and the loss of a series of County and City Council seats through defections to the PDs.
Despite all the bravado of 1986 at the time of the foundation of the PDs, when the FF footsoldiers were vowing at their angry session in Flannery’s Hotel that ‘Molloy will never hold on to that seat he stole from us’, the vestiges of the now defunct PDs still hold on to seats which were FF and are from the FF ‘gene pool.’
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.