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.
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.