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Galway West

Galway West: Nolan and Healy Eames the big losers

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The two big losers in Galway West compared with 2011 were Derek Nolan and Fidelma Healy Eames.
The first preference share of the vote won by Labour’s Nolan dropped by 57%, compared with his poll-topping performance in 2011.
Nolan, who has already conceded defeat, polled just 3,220 first preferences after the first count. It represents a collapse of the Labour vote in the former Michael D Higgins stronghold.
Nolan insisted Labour would rise again in the constituency.
Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (SF) benefited by about 1,000 additional votes compared with 2011 but Independent City Councillor Catherine Connolly picked up just 111 extra votes compared with five years ago, which is surprising given Labour’s collapse.
Social Democrats Niall Ó Tuathail took a good chunk off Nolan, polling a respectable 3,455 first preferences. It won’t put him in the reckoning for a seat but is a strong enough base to build for a City Council bid.
Former Fine Gael now Independent senator Fidelma Healy Eames also saw her first preference share of the vote nosedive.
Her first preference is down by 72% compared with 2011, when she polled over 5,000 votes and was in fifth place after the first count before later being eliminated.
The Maree-based senator is down to 1,394. 

Connacht Tribune

TALLIES: Half of boxes open in City West

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Galway West

Left and right find middle ground

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Deputy Catherine Connolly being interviewed at Leinster House.

There is a tired old cliché about people singing from ‘the same hymn sheet’ – but despite their diverse political backgrounds, it could certainly be applied in the case of Galway city’s two new TDs.

Because Fine Gael’s Deputy Hildegarde Naughten and independent TD Catherine Connolly hold common ground when it comes to a lot of issues relating to Galway city.

For example, in the aftermath of the general election they both agreed that University Hospital Galway should be moved to a greenfield site at Merlin Park. They also articulated this view on the first day of the new Dail last week.

And, separately, they were both in favour of the provision of dedicated bus lanes throughout Galway city with the acceptance that there will be no outer bypass for at least another decade. Deputy Connolly believes that the current proposal is simply “a cul-de-sac” and should never have been progressed.

Left-leaning Independent TD Catherine Connolly and right-leaning Fine Gael TD, Hildegarde Naughton, both believe UHG is at saturation point and are committed to the development of a new public hospital at the larger, more accessible site east of the city.

This, along with the promotion of public transport initiatives to help end traffic chaos in the city, is one of the common policy objectives the two new women TDs share.

They are only the second and third women TDs ever in Galway West, following in the footsteps of former Fianna Fáil minister, Máire Geoghegan Quinn.

 

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Galway West

Fianna Fail attempts to woo Grealish again

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Deputy Noel Grealish looking pensive at the start of the new Dail.

Pressure is mounting on Galway West TD Noel Grealish to join Fianna Fail as the party attempts to be part of the next government.

The Fianna Fail organisation in the constituency are now convinced that Grealish may provide the party with the answer to winning a second seat in Galway West. And the organisation are disappointed that veteran TD Eamon O Cuiv has not delivered a second seat in the last two general elections.  If Fianna Fail assume power, it is very unlikely that the Cornamona man will have a place at the front bench.

The party organisation in Galway West are now anxious that Grealish becomes part of their fabric and particularly as he is a proven vote-winner.

Grealish is part of an unofficial grouping in the Dail who are currently engaged with the two major parties with a view to forming a minority government.

The fact that the Carnmore man has been a TD since 2002, it is likely that he could be part of the front bench in the next government if he agrees to become part of the support that Fianna Fail require.

It was revealed last week that he had been approached by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin to join up but he was not to be drawn on the issue.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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