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Connacht Tribune

Galway West dogfight adds air of uncertainty for last two seats

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Last time out...Hildegarde Naughton and Catherine Connolly make history after they were both elected on the 14th count for Galway West - the first time the constituency returned two females TDs.

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

Once upon a time, Galway West was one of the most predictable constituencies in the countries, a stronghold for Fianna Fáil. A whole political generation passed with only Padraic MacCormack the lone standard-bearer for Fine Gael.

The arrival of the Progressive Democrats in 1987 changed the complexion of the constituency. Bobby Molloy’s defection from Fianna Fáil essentially cost the party’s its former dominant position. Molloy’s personal vote in the constituency has outlasted the existence of the PDs with Noel Grealish holding on to the seat for 16 years now.

Fine Gael has been the dominant party since 2011. That said, the constituency is reflective of modern Ireland, more fragmented, and therefore less easy to predict.

Fine Gael won two seats out of five in 2016. In the run-up to that election, huge boundary changes saw the constituency lost territory to the east of the city and gain a swathe of south Mayo.

John O’Mahony moved south from Mayo. His presence created internal tension and rivalry within Fine Gael which probably spurred it to retain its two seats.

Unusually, the constituency returned two Independents. There is now a definite left wing seat in the constituency.

Labour’s dismal performance in 2016 helped Catherine Connolly win a seat for the first time. Grealish, who has next to no national profile, illustrated how effective a local constituency operator he is, coming in second.

Eamon Ó Cuív topped the poll and was easily re-elected with an impressive 14 per cent of the vote.

And when you look at the Fianna Fáil figures for 2016, the party achieved 23 per cent of the overall vote, only two per cent behind Fine Gael. But because there was such a gap between Ó Cuív and the other two candidates, there was never a prospect of either of them bridging the gap.

The next election – wherever it is – is going to be complicated, even though there is a strong chance we could be left with an ‘as you were’ situation – two Fine Gael, one Fianna Fáíl, and the two sitting Independents.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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