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.
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.