Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
Michael D Higgins is one of the legends of Irish politics, with a pedigree in Galway West Dáil politics which goes back to 1969 – his first General Election in which he got 1,174 first preference votes.
He went on from there to become known as a national and international figure, respected for his views and many of the causes he espoused . . . which were not always the ones which would be popular at the ballot box.
Now he faces the political battle of a lifetime as he fights for the Presidency in succession to Mary McAleese, following his comfortable victory at the weekend Labour Selection Convention when he saw off the challenge of Fergus Finlay and Kathleen O’Meara.
In the end, it was a very comprehensive victory at the convention – Higgins 37 votes, Finlay 18 and O’Meara 7. Higgins was magnanimous in his victory speech and gave a flavour of the campaign to come when he suggested that it was time we fashioned a new post-crash image of ourselves and of Ireland.
Unless Fianna Fáil are to produce ‘a political rabbit out of the hat’ – such as quiet backing for an Independent candidate such as Mary Davis, Niall O’Dowd, or maybe even Miriam O’Callaghan – no one should rule out the possibility that Higgins could give this contest a real run.
Certainly, no one should underestimate the battle which Higgins will put up – he will bring to it the experience of someone who has been a TD for almost 25 years for Galway West, a formidable Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht from 1993 to ’97, and someone with a personal cachet of popularity which stretches right across the
However, there are signs building up that this Presidential Election could be one of the closest and toughest-fought political contests in years, not just because of the preliminaries involving the likes of David Norris, but also because there is a real opinion in some quarters in Fine Gael that they could win the Presidency.
The battle which is going on within the party is only beginning with TDs like Galway’s Brian Walsh and Ciaran Cannon reporting huge canvassing.
When it comes to the contest for Presidency itself, there will be no quarter between the FG and Labour camps, but right now the phones are hopping in Fine Gael, according to the likes of Cannon and Walsh.
July 9 is the key selection convention date in FG, when they will finally sort out who should be the candidate from amongst Gay Mitchell TD, Mairead McGuinness MEP and former MEP and President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, and Avril Doyle.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.