Date Published: 20-Apr-2011
Those census returns forms we all filed in a little over a week ago will have an important role to play in the months to come in the threatened redrawing of the Dáil constituencies.
Under Government proposals, and with no apparent opposition from others, there are predictions that Galway West could drop from a five-seater to a four in the next General Election under any new Dáil Constituency Commission.
It is part of the government programme that the number of Dáil seats will be reduced from 166 to 140 and the spotlight seems sure to fall on a number of five-seaters around the country as the boundaries are redrawn. That would bring Galway West directly into the firing line.
There is some plea that five-seaters with a large urban area might be spared – which could bring some hope of relief for TDs Sean Kyne and Brian Walsh (Fine Gael), Derek Nolan (Labour), Eamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fáil), and Noel Grealish (Independent), but the feeling in usually informed circles is that Galway West might not survive the cut.
Time was when this sort of revision, which is totally dictated by population numbers with about 20,000 people per Dáil seat, was controlled by the politicians themselves, but Jack Lynch ended that in 1977 when FF came to power in huge numbers . . . to some extent on the back of a constituency revision done by outgoing Environment Minister Jimmy Tully (Labour), which misfired badly in the 1977 General Election when the FG and Labour support simply bombed and they suffered a huge defeat.
Since then revisions have been presided over by a High Court Judge and we must presume the same set up will apply in the months to come as the painful business of cutting back on the Dáil seats goes ahead. If the number in Galway West is reduced to four, then life will become more difficult for all the sitting TDs, and also for those who might fancy their chances in the future.
In more normal times – when you could predict from year to year how a party might fare in an election still to come – we could have said that the politicians who would come into the firing line in such a revision in Galway West would be more likely to be the Independents.
These would be people like Grealish, who is now in his third term in the Dáil, or indeed Catherine Connolly (former Labour), who made such a drive at a seat at the General Election a few weeks ago, or indeed another potential coming name like Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, who might yet build on a Seanad seat if a newly-strengthened Sinn Féin could deliver one for him.
In those more normal times it might have been possible to say that the ones most likely to hang on would be Fine Gael’s two newcomers Kyne and Walsh, Labour’s Nolan, FF’s Ó Cuív . . . simply because they had a big party structure behind them and that guaranteed a certain level of bedrock support.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.