Date Published: 27-Jun-2011
By Dara Bradley
The ‘horse-trading’ between members of the ruling pact on Galway City Council will resume today (Tuesday) as the identity of the next first citizen of Galway remains uncertain, just over 24 hours ahead of the Mayoral election.
Councillor Hildegarde Naughton will be the Fine Gael nominee for Mayor at Wednesday’s election but it remains unclear whether she has the backing of all members of the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Independent pact to secure the chain.
Negotiations aimed at resolving the impasse between Cllr Naughton and two members of the pact who oppose her, which were chaired by current Mayor Mike Crowe (FF), finished without agreement being reached last evening.
Mayor Crowe will once again attempt to broker a deal between Cllr Naughton and Cllrs Peter Keane (FF) and Donal Lyons (Ind), at meetings later today. They may need to meet again tomorrow as well if the issues aren’t ironed out by then.
Cllrs Lyons and Keane are seeking an apology, retraction and clarification from Cllr Naughton over comments she made at a meeting last January about elected members being in the pockets of developers.
The duo took umbrage at her statements in the Council chamber and also at later media comments in which she said she wouldn’t apologise or retract her remarks, which were not directed at any one individual.
It is understood that at last night’s meeting, each councillor ‘set out their stall’ and clarified their position.
It was cut short due to the Mayor having other commitments and it is understood another meeting will be needed today so that the trio can come up with a wording for a statement from Cllr Naughton – possibly not an apology but expression of ‘regret’ – that would allow the two councillors to vote for her as mayor without ‘losing face’.
Cllr Naughton can count on seven votes (Pádraig Conneely, Frank Fahey, Mike Crowe, Ollie Crowe, Terry O’Flaherty, Declan McDonnell and her own) but needs eight to be guaranteed a majority of the 15 councillors.
Labour’s five elected members will oppose her, as will Independent Councillor Catherine Connolly. If these six ‘left’ councillors can agree on a candidate, the vote for mayor would be as tight as it gets, meaning a resolution with Cllrs Keane and Lyons is vital to the outcome. Otherwise, the pact could collapse mid-term.
If the duo abstain, Cllr Naughton would be elected, but they have publicly indicated abstaining is not an option they will consider.
Cllr Naughton had no comment to make to the Sentinel ahead of the formal talks.
Mayor Crowe said he is hopeful a resolution that suits all sides, and which benefits the City and the local authority, can be brokered.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel
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.