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.
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.