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.
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.