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.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.