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Galway independents may hold key to Government

Declan Tierney



Four potential Galway independent TDs could have a major say in the formation of the next Government after the next general election – if they are elected.

Because any possibility of a second term for the current Fine Gael/Labour Government could require the assistance of at least half a dozen ‘reliable’ independents.

And the Connacht Tribune has learned that potential successful independents in Galway would not be averse to sitting down with a Fine Gael-led Government – and they wouldn’t be putting up an insurmountable ‘shopping list’.

That in turn would mean that Galway could have its biggest representation in Government in the history of the State.

Political pundits, along with bookies, are giving two seats to outgoing independent TD Noel Grealish along with former Labour member Cllr Catherine Connolly in Galway West.

In Galway East, Cllr Sean Canney is hotly tipped to take an independent seat having come relatively close back in 2011. The constituency has been reduced to a three-seater in the meantime with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael expected to win just one each.

Then in the new Roscommon-Galway constituency, where there are also three seats up for grabs, Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice is favourite to sweep to an independent seat.

Last year he dramatically won a bye-election from his Glinsk base in the old Roscommon-Leitrim constituency – and he could not even vote for himself.

Fitzmaurice told The Connacht Tribune that he did not get elected to have little influence and said that he would have no difficulty in talking to a Fine-led Government.

“It is my ambition to first of all protect what we have left in rural and then increase services and facilities. If I cannot have any influence in this, then I will simply walk away from politics,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Noel Grealish said that his first priority was to get re-elected and then he would be willing to enter negotiations with anyone willing to form a Government who require independent support.

He said that it would not be in the interest of the people of Galway West if he did not wish to have an influence in the next Government. “If independents are needed, then I am willing to talk,” Deputy Grealish added.

Equally, Cllr Sean Canney said that he too would be willing to enter negotiations if elected but he would be looking for several commitments with regard to the protection of rural Ireland.

He also said that he wanted changes in the way Government worked and how the Dail worked.

“I know that this is not something that can be achieved overnight but if the country was a better place after a five year term, then I would be happy,” Cllr Canney commented.


Gardaí issue warning on ‘movie money’

Enda Cunningham



Some of the 'movie money' which has been seized.

Gardaí have warned of an increase in ‘novelty’ euro notes – which are almost identical to real currency – in circulation.

The notes are usually marked ‘movie money’ or ‘prop money’, but this can often go unnoticed by the person handling it. They do not have any security features.

Revenue Officers have seized notes in varying denominations representing a value of €430,895 in recent mail centre detections.

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People need to be aware that such notes exist and at busy times, especially late at night, they need to exercise a little care and attention.

“These notes are easily identifiable if precautionary checks are made. Also people who try to tender such notes as real face prosecution, a possible prison sentence and a conviction, which is for life. Such convictions have serious ramifications if one wanted to travel, to work in certain sectors and it can affect their credit rating”.

“We advise businesses and members of the public who deal in cash to be aware that such notes are in circulation and take appropriate precautionary measures. Business owners should ensure staff members handling cash are alerted to watch out for these fraudulent notes.

“The use of fraudulent currency when trying to purchase goods or services is an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and carries a potential prison sentence of 10 years.

“These fraudulent notes should not be accepted as legal tender and any incidents of persons trying to pay with “prop money” should be reported to Gardaí immediately,” said Det Supt Cryan.

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Fire at site of former Corrib Great Southern Hotel




Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire at the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel which broke out in the early hours of this morning.

Four units of the Galway Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former hotel near GMIT at 5.45am. A unit from Athenry is also in attendance at the scene.

Fire fighters are maintaining a presence at the derelict hotel, which has been the scene of a number of arson attacks over the past number of years.


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Three refused bail on violent disorder charges




Longford Courthouse

Three men who were arrested this morning as part of a Garda investigation into violent disorder at a funeral in Mervue last year, have been denied bail by a District Court Judge.

Denis Hannafin, Curry; Robbie Hannafin, Corboy, Edgeworthstown and Tommy Hannafin, Dublin Road – all in Longford – were charged with violent disorder in connection with an incident which occurred outside Holy Family funeral home on in January 13 last year.

Detective Garda Ronan Leonard told the court this morning that CCTV footage showed a number of members of the Hannafin family outside the funeral home on January 13, 2019, at approximately 3.15pm, when a number of members of the McGinley family made their way towards them.

An altercation ensued, which resulted in one member of the McGinley family suffering a gunshot wound, while another received a stab wound to the back. A third man suffered acid wounds.

Gardaí explained that there is a feud going on between the two families, which began when juvenile members of the families got into a fight at a pool hall.

Detective Leonard voiced concerns that if the three accused were granted bail, they would commit further offences and intimidate members of the McGinley family.

Judge Seamus Hughes had remanded the three accused in custody to Harristown District Court next Friday, February 28.

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