Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley
Lefties in the Galway City Council Mayoral Pact are between a rock and a hard place.
How do they keep their left-wing credentials intact while lending support to a right-wing councillor with questionable opinions on Travellers, immigrants and social housing tenants?
Noel Larkin (Ind) is next in line in the annual mayoral chain merry-go-round. He will become First Citizen next Friday, June 26, so long as the mayoral pact stays intact.
The ‘rainbow’ pact consists of 10 councillors, from different positions on the political spectrum.
A chain here, a deputy-mayor there, and a sprinkling of committee chairs . . . it all helped to paper over the differences last year so that an alliance could be cobbled together. . . but this may unravel in the Larkin Mayoral vote.
The former PDs – Terry O’Flaherty, Donal Lyons and Declan McDonnell – have no issue with Larkin. Outgoing Mayor, Mike Cubbard, will back him too.
Labour has abandoned any credible claim to the Left. Niall McNelis and Larkin are like peas in a pod; sure, didn’t they turn their backs on the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael pact that fell apart last June? That’s five votes to Larkin.
He needs four more, but four Lefties (Martina O’Connor, Colette Connolly, Niall Murphy and Owen Hanley) face moral dilemmas. The rock is voting for Noel Larkin, whose political views they abhor; the hard place is keeping their word, and honouring the agreement they made when the pact was signed. And of course, they don’t want to lose any positions of power they negotiated as part of that pact.
Green Party duo, Martina O’Connor and recently co-opted Niall Murphy, are politically left-of-centre, but so long as the Local Authority makes environmental improvements, they can stomach Mayor Larkin.
Colette Connolly (Ind) could hold her nose and vote for Larkin, while simultaneously berating him, and still get away with it. Expect an “I’m shocked and appalled at the mayor I am now voting for” speech before an inevitable ‘Tá’ vote.
Owen Hanley (Soc Dem) is in more of a bind. The Social Democrats are still a young, idealistic party, untainted by responsibility of Government. They actually have lefty (and other) principles still intact. The party grew from the Marriage Equality referendum, and gained momentum from the success of the Pro-Choice movement that repealed the Eighth Amendment.
The Soc Dems are sugar and spice and all things nice to Travellers, people in Direct Provision, and other vulnerable minorities.
Owen Hanley wobbling is the biggest threat to Larkin’s ascent, and the pact unravelling. Expect posturing and much wrestling of conscience before realpolitik sinks his idealism and Owen gives Noel ‘The Drone’ Larkin his second term as mayor.
*For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune
Titans return to the national league for coming season
TITANS BC is returning to the national league for the upcoming 2020/21 season, one of four new teams that will compete in the Men’s Division 1 this year.
The city side will play in the Northern Conference of the league alongside fellow new sides, Drogheda Wolves and Malahide, along with Ulster University from Belfast; LYIT from Donegal; Sligo All-Stars; and Dublin Lions and Tolka Rovers from Dublin.
That looks to be the easier of the two conferences: Dublin Lions were relegated from the Super League at the end of last season, LYIT finished 5th in Division 1, Sligo finished 8th, Ulster University finished 9th, and Tolka Rovers finished 10th in a 12-team league competition that ran as a single league, rather than split into two conferences.
With four new teams for the coming season – Team Kerry are the 4th new side – Division 1 is returning to a split conference format, and all the heavy-hitters would appear to be in the Southern Conference.
Team Kerry will be joined by fellow Killarney side, St Paul’s, which finished second in the league last season, as well as Cork’s Fr Mathews and IT Carlow, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.
Limerick Celtics and Limerick Eagles, who finished 6th and 7th, are also in the Southern Conference, as well as last season’s bottom two, WIT Waterford and Portlaoise Panthers.
Titans took a one-year hiatus from the league last season, having endured a torrid 2018/19 campaign when it finished with the worst record in the league, winning just two of its 23 league games to finish bottom of the Northern Conference.
Maree and Moycullen will once again represent Galway in the Men’s Super League, which is also being split into a two-conference format, with six teams in each conference. However, while Titans will be looking north for their main opposition, Maree and Moycullen will be looking in the opposite direction as both have been placed in the South Conference.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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Group hurling ties to be restricted to supporters of participating teams
NO neutrals will be allowed to attend the opening round of the revamped Galway senior hurling championship which is scheduled to start in little more than a fortnight’s time.
A gathering of 500 – likely to also include the rival players and mentors – will be restricted to each group game, with the participating clubs set to be allocated around 200 tickets each for sale/distribution ahead of the fixture.
A mechanism has still to be sorted for this process, but matches will be restricted to Galway’s three county grounds: Pearse Stadium, Kenny Park, Athenry and Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, along with Loughrea. Killimor was the fifth venue in consideration for hosting senior games, but redevelopment work at the ground has ruled out that prospect.
The full round of 12 group ties will go ahead on the weekend ending July 26, but there will be no double headers. Instead, games at the same venues will be staged four hours apart to allow sanitisation of the various grounds.
Only people with tickets will gain entry to the games and there will be no cash taken at the turnstiles.
Street fight thugs from viral video outside Garda HQ avoid jail
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two men and a woman who were involved in a ‘staged’ fistfight outside the new Garda HQ in Renmore were warned they will serve prison sentences if they don’t stay off social media for two years.
Suspended sentences were imposed on all three over the incident which was recorded on mobile phone and footage went viral on social media.
The altercation between John Maughan (27), formerly of Rinville Park, Oranmore, who now lives in Dublin, and Patrick Maughan (31), of 122 Laurel Park, Newcastle, was filmed on Patrick Maughan’s phone by his wife, Ellen Maughan (31), who is John Maughan’s sister.
The footage was uploaded that evening to YouTube, where it gained a lot of traction.
Galway District Court heard this week the trio were sitting in their cars when Gardaí arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes.
They were subsequently charged with affray at Dublin Road, Murrough, Renmore, on November 2, 2018, in that all three used or threatened to use violence towards each other, thereby putting other people present in fear for their own safety and the safety of others.
Both men were also charged with breaching the peace.
Garda Pat Casey told the sentence hearing the incident occurred at 2.30pm on the main road between GMIT and the Garda HQ.
He said the men’s cars met, whether by accident or design, at that location where they got out and had a fist fight in the middle of the road.
Judge Mary Fahy asked if the location chosen for the fight, right outside the new Garda HQ, was deliberate.
Garda Casey said the men claimed they met by accident, “but that was where they met”, he added.
“The inference is they did it deliberately outside the Station to make it even better on social media. They are an absolute disgrace to do that in public and to do it in front of their children,” Judge Fahy said.
This is a shortened preview version of this court report. To read the article in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.