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Galway Bay FM News Archives

‘Horse-trading’ continues in bid to elect Hildegarde Mayor

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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

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway County VEC Chief takes High Court case

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

The High Court is hearing arguments from the state in an action brought by two VEC bosses who are challenging the loss of an annual allowance worth 12 and a half thousand euro.

Former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh who’s the CEO of County Galway VEC and Dr Katie Sweeney, CEO of Mayo VEC, say a special Transport Liaison Officers Allowance should not have been cut, even though that part of their role no longer operates.

Lawyers for the Department of Education deny the allowance is part of their pay.

The case is in the context of planned changes within the VEC system under the Croke Park agreement.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Planning go ahead for community facility in Doughiska

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

A hotel in the city is to be changed into a community facility.

Planning permission has been granted to DRA Community Development Company Limited to redevelop the ‘Racing Lodge Hotel’ in Doughiska.

It’s planned to use the building for community, educational and pastoral use.

Planners have attached 4 conditions to the development, including the stipulation that all uses at the building be on a not-for-profit basis.

 

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway call for Transport Minister to intervene in bus strike

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

City Councillor Michael Crowe is calling on the Transport Minister Leo Vradkar to urgently intervene to end strike action by Bus Eireann in Galway.

Major travel disruption is expected in Galway and nationwide as the national strike enters its second day.

Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.

Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing their picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city.

It’s understood up to 80 Galway workers took part in the picket on rotational rosters yesterday.

Speaking on Galway Talks, City Cllr Michael Crowe said Minister Vradkar needs to take urgent action to intervene so that transport services can be restored.

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