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How much did councillors spend per vote received?

Dara Bradley



Cllr Mike Cubbard ran a frugal election campaign, spending just €1.67 per vote received

Bradley Bytes – A Sort of Political Column with Dara Bradley 

Councillors have filed their Statements of Expenditure listing the amount of money they spent on their campaigns to get elected to Galway City Council in May.

All 18 of them were elected, so it was money well spent, but who got more bang for their buck?

We’ve had a gawk at the files to find out how much each City Councillor spent on posters, canvass literature, advertising etcetera, vis-à-vis the number of votes received.

Fine Gael newcomer, Clodagh Higgins, spent the most of any candidate in the 2019 local election – her total expenses incurred were €6,139. And Classy Clodagh also spent the most of any city councillor per vote received – each of her 811 first preference votes cost her €7.56 in election expenditure.

Iron Mike Cubbard, who went on to become mayor, got the most value per vote out of his local election spend compared with the 17 other councillors elected.

Iron Mike (Ind) spent €2,161 on electioneering, and won 1,292 first preferences, which works out at just €1.67 per vote.

The only other councillor to spend less than €2 per vote, was Fianna Fáil’s comeback kid, John Connolly – an election outlay of €1,251 for a campaign that was rewarded with 734 first preferences, or €1.70 per vote.

Here’s a list of the remaining 15 councillors and the amount of money they spent on their campaigns per first preference vote received, from highest to lowest:

Mike Crowe (FF) €6.86 per vote
Frank Fahy (FG) €6.57 per vote
Peter Keane (FF) €6.38 per vote
Owen Hanley (Soc Dem) €5.77 per vote
Niall McNelis (Lab) €5.47 per vote
Eddie Hoare (FG) €5.23 per vote
Declan McDonnell (Ind) €4.75 per vote
Noel Larkin (Ind) €3.57 per vote
Ollie Crowe (FF) €3.70 per vote
Colette Connolly (Ind) €2.92 per vote
Martina O’Connor (Greens) €2.67 per vote
Pauline O’Reilly (Greens) €2.56 per vote
Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) €2.42 per vote
Alan Cheevers (FF) €2.39 per vote
Donal Lyons (Ind) €2.10 per vote

For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune 



“It will be akin to the notorious Rahoon flats”

Enda Cunningham



The Rahoon flats, which were built in 1972 and demolished in 1998, widely regarded as a failed social housing project.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – More than 700 local residents have signed a petition against plans for the construction of 330 apartments in Knocknacarra – which have been likened to “the notorious Rahoon flats”.

Child safeguarding concerns have also been raised by the principal of Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh – who pointed out that the apartments will look directly into 19 classrooms.

A total of 27 objections were lodged against Glenveagh Living’s plans to build 332 apartments in six blocks – ranging from four storeys to seven storeys in height.

Locals have demanded An Bord Pleanála hold an oral hearing into the plans – that planning authority is due to make a decision by March 20, although it can decide to hold such a hearing first.

A computer-generated image of the Glenveagh plans for the site opposite Gort na Bró and beside Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh.

One of the objections – which accuses the developer of designing “tenement style” homes in a “blatant attempt to profiteer from the housing crisis” – was signed by more than 700 local residents.

Another objector said the development was “akin to the notorious Rahoon flats, with people being packed on top of each other”.

Locals have raised concerns about the huge number of apartments planned; overshadowing of homes; inadequate open space, playing pitches and community infrastructure; parking and traffic problems; low quality of design and road safety.

Glenveagh Living did not respond to a request from the Galway City Tribune for comment.
This is a preview only. To read extensive coverage of the Glenveagh plans and objections, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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Arts fraternity rallies as Theo faces deportation

Denise McNamara



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Less than a year after being invited by the Arts Council to perform at a conference about diversity in the arts, a musician, DJ and rapper – who is about to embark on a project for Galway 2020 – is facing deportation.

Theophilus Ndlovu left Zimbabwe after what he claims was a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the people who were supposed to mind him.

His mother left when he was just six years old and he never met his father. He was placed in the care of an unofficial foster family but it was never a happy arrangement.

“These people I stayed with were abusing me. They were never my family. I was running away from persecution and abuse and the way I was treated by these people. I had to fend for myself since I was ten years old,” he recalls.

When Theo was 20, he saved up enough money from mowing lawns and selling chickens to escape, arriving in Ireland where he sought asylum. Authorities placed him in a Direct Provision Centre in Finglas for a fortnight before he was transferred to the Great Western Direct Provision Centre off Eyre Square, where he has remained for nearly four years.

Almost immediately, Theo felt at home.

“This is my family. Galway is where I found my voice. It has become my home. It is just where I’m meant to be.”

Theo has immersed himself in the arts community and has become a leading hip-hop artist, known as Touché, performing regularly at venues such as the Róisín Dubh and the Black Gate. He was instrumental in getting fellow asylum seekers and refugees involved in music collaborations.

He is a founding member of the multicultural music project ‘Atmos Collective’ and has facilitated numerous music workshops in Galway, “teaching, motivating and inspiring hundreds of young people along the way”, according to co-founder Alice McDowell, an Australian filmmaker and fiddler.

The collective was recently granted funding by the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 committee to host community music workshops in the city and county over the next year as part of their ‘Small Towns Big Ideas’ scheme.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

The petition is available online HERE

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Regeneration funding sought for community centre

Stephen Corrigan



A computer-generated image of the proposed communit centre in Newcastle

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – With a decision imminent on planning permission to build a new community centre in Newcastle, city councillors will be asked next Monday to support an application for major government funding to proceed with the project.

A motion by Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) will seek the approval of the City Council to make an application for funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) – an overall fund of €2bn available for major infrastructural projects in cities.

Chairman of the Newcastle Combined Community Association (NCCA) Seamus Davey said that they expected a decision on their planning application by the end of January, and were hopeful of getting the support of councillors for this funding application.

“While planning permission hasn’t been granted yet – it has dragged on a bit because of a request for further information – we expect to have it approved soon.

“This project will be shovel ready and as soon as we get planning permission, we’ll have the engineering documents drawn up. As soon as we have funding, we’ll be putting it out to tender,” said Mr Davey.

The Council is set to reach a decision on the application on February 6.

The proposal for funding under the URDF has to come from the Council so it is crucial the project got the full backing of Council members, Mr Davey added.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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