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 ‘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.