Date Published: 24-May-2011
Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore moved at the weekend to protect his most prized win from the entire General Election – the Dail seat in Gilmore’s native East Galway which was taken against all the odds by Colm Keaveney.
Gilmore, when it came to the divvy-up of Labour’s share of the Taoiseach’s nominees to the Senate, gave one precious nomination to Athenry’s Lorraine Higgins, the barrister who played such a crucial part in the win that few thought possible even as the official count went on.
Lorraine Higgins, who transferred a key 2,500 votes to Colm Keaveney at a vital stage of the count which moved him right into contention, said when I spoke to her after the announcement of her nomination to the Senate, that she was deeply honoured and pledged to work for the people of East Galway.
Said Senator Higgins: “I was surprised when the Party Leader rang me the day before the official announcement and asked me would I accept a nomination, I told him I would be deeply honoured. It is the last thing I expected and all I can do is promise to work as hard as I can for the people of East Galway.
“I stood in the Local Elections and am committed to politics. I got into this because I think I know what the people of the area want and what the needs of the ordinary people are, and I am prepared to give my total commitment to this.”
Senator Higgins said that she believed she would be able to balance her legal career with that in politics. She had gained experience through standing in the Local Elections in 2009, she said, and she knew a lot of the needs of the area and what people required. “I am totally committed to the people of East Galway,” she added.
The appointment was welcomed by TD Colm Keaveney who said the nomination was deserved and he looked forward to working with Senator Higgins in the huge East Galway constituency.
However, assuming the constituencies remain the same next time out in an election – and a major revision and re-drawing of constituency boundaries is already being widely speculated on – the Higgins appoinment seems bound to spark off a rivalry between the Labour runningmates.
At one key point in the election count in February only 134 votes separated them, but now, from the Keaveney base in Tuam and the Higgins bailiwick in Athenry, they will be working to retain a seat that Labour took with just over 13 per cent of the first preferences.
This is a four-seater constituency where the main rivals are Fine Gael, with their two new TDs, Paul Connaughton Jnr. and Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon, and where Fianna Fail’s Michael Kitt might not stand again but where FF are already planning to stage a revival of their fortunes.
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.