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Bradley Bytes

Mandarin a trilingual first for fruity Fidelma

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Politicians are known for talking sh@*te.  In Galway, some of them are adept at Double Dutch, too.

Others are specialists in hot air.

Most have mastered the art of talking for long periods without actually saying a whole pile . . . well nothing of substance anyway.

Every politician has spoken gibberish, at least once a week.

We only bring up the subject of language and talking because we think we’ve stumbled on an oratory first in the Houses of the Oireachtas: Mandarin.

Yes, we are happy to confirm (until some nerdy political anorak proves otherwise) that our very own Galway senator Fidelma Healy Eames was the first member of the Oireachtas in the history of the State to utter words, on the record, in the Chinese language.

“Bhuel, tá cúpla focal agam i Sínis (Well, I have a few words of Chinese) – huān yíng – welcome,” said fruity FHE to the Gaeltacht Minister at the start of a Seanad debate on teaching Chinese in Irish schools.

As ‘firsts’ go, this trilingualism (you’ll note that that was ‘Gaeilge’ she used in the same debate and not all Chinese!) may not sound that impressive but it’s better, say, than holding the ‘first Oireachtas member to be caught dodging train fares’ record, now isn’t it.

Maith thú Fidelma.

Ironic . . . don’t you think

There’s an interesting aside to Galway’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2020.

One of the Irish cities that could be competing with Galway for the crown is Sligo.

And who is the City and County Manager in Sligo? It’s Ciarán Hayes, former Director of Services at Galway City Council, of course, who was the public face of the local authority in every crisis.

As that great modern-day philosopher Alanis Morissette would say, wouldn’t it be ironic if Ciarán beat his former employers in Galway in the bid process to earn the prestigious moniker for Sligo.

It’d be a bit like rain on your wedding day . . . a free ride when you’ve already paid . . .

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

CITY TRIBUNE

Supermac’s the saviour turns Rabbitte’s nuts!

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort-of political column with Dara Bradley

Anne Rabbitte, everyone’s favourite Fianna Fáil TD in Galway East, was working late in Leinster House on Thursday night.

The Disabilities Minister, before heading home, popped into An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, who was also burning the midnight oil.

Martin had been on a conference call with EU leaders earlier, dealing with the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The pair chatted for a while about Government policy, internal FF business and the like.

Before leaving, Rabbitte asked her party leader to sign a Golden Anniversary card for two constituents, a couple in Athenry who were celebrating their 50th. All politics is local, after all.

Rabbitte hopped into her jalopy – no ministerial chauffeur for Ministers of State, who must drive themselves like the rest of us mere mortals! – and set off for home, Portumna, along the M50 and the M6 towards Galway. Thirsty, around midnight, Rabbitte veered off the motorway and stopped at Supermac’s in Kinnegad for bottled water.

She got in just before they closed at midnight. But when she came back to her car, she realised she had a flat tyre.

Rabbitte, a work-horse, isn’t shy of mucking in, and so attempted to change it herself.

“I’m not slight but I wasn’t able to turn the nuts; I just couldn’t turn the nuts,” she laughed.

Luckily, a Good Samaritan from Supermac’s who saw that she was in a spot of bother, came to the rescue and she was back on the road to Galway, albeit over an hour delayed.  “Thank God for Supermac’s – my saviour!” she said.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mayor’s malevolent mimic strikes with sick message

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

It was late on Monday night, November 16, when a male Galway City councillor’s phone rang repeatedly.

When the calls went unanswered, at half past midnight his phone pinged, signalling a WhatsApp had been received.

The message, purporting to be from Mayor Mike Cubbard, disgusted the recipient.

It said: “Please answer your phone, this is an emergency my c*ck has swollen to four or five times its normal size.” The texter left a message suggesting a solution which involved the councillor’s wife.

Mayor Mike hadn’t sent the message. This was just another sinister development and escalation in the ongoing online impersonation of the Independent councillor by a twisted and sick individual with a grudge.

Weeks earlier, Mayor Mike’s malevolent mimic sent a series of WhatsApp texts to a young, good-looking, left-leaning Dublin City Councillor. She, too, was shocked.

The person purporting to be Mayor Mike expressed a desire to see this woman’s breasts “bounce up and down” while they had sex. “What a man gotta do?”, it said.

That’s the PG version; the language used in the actual message was incredibly derogatory and coarse.

It wasn’t the first message sent to this elected representative purporting to be from Mayor Mike.

“I hope that didn’t come across weird,” said one message, and God only knows what ‘that’ referred to.

Another asked her if she was “still interested in taking part?” Again, Mayor Mike shudders to think what sort of sick event this woman was being invited to take part in, in his name. Not nice on his wife or kids to have those kind of messages going around, with his name attached.

The targeting of Mayor Mike began in mid-October. Several Galway City Councillors got messages purporting to be from Cubbard, like this one sent to Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG). “Hi Ed I am just passing on new contact number as I had to have phone repaired thanks.”

Using this ‘new’ number, the person pretending to be Mayor Mike created a WhatsApp group with several councillors, and messaged: “Hi all just think it is good for us to keep in communication with each other as a group can you please add those who I have missed as I do not have access to everyone’s number thanks Mike.”

Jessica Fletcher-like Cllr Owen Hanley (Soc Dem) smelt a rat, and replied: “You’ve missed someone. The mayor.”

He then took a screenshot and alerted the real Mayor Mike to what had happened.

That was October 15, days after Mayor Mike was vocal about right-wing anti-mask protestors. Since then at least two councillors have received sexually explicit messages.

Mayor Mike’s fear is that many more councillors received similar sexual innuendo, believing it to be from him. And he’s right to worry; one screenshot reveals that the impersonator had 68 unopened messages, presumably replies.

The Gardaí are investigating, but we should be worried – an attack on the mayor is an attack on us all, and on local democracy.
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cheevers takes the hump with FG over mayoral pact

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

The bitter fallout from the mayoral pact on Galway City Council lingers. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for local political anoraks. And more bitter it’s getting!

Over two months, the original ruling pact that formed after the May 2019 Local Election, collapsed. And yet the ill-feeling simmers.

The original pact that broke-up in September due to a row over Travellers, included: Noel Larkin, Declan McDonnell, Terry O’Flaherty, Donal Lyons, Mike Cubbard and Colette Connolly (all Ind), Níall McNelis (Lab), Martina O’Connor and Niall Murphy (Green).

The new pact, which holds power at City Hall now, is the old pact, minus McDonnell and Larkin, plus the three Fine Gaelers, Clodagh Higgins, Eddie Hoare and Frank Fahy.

Fianna Fáil’s five councillors had hoped to do a deal with McDonnell, Larkin and Fine Gael to freeze out the rainbow but the Blueshirts had a better offer.

In a pact with FF, there was room for only one FG mayor. And so, led by Frankeen, FG negotiated a deal without FF that included a mayoral term each for Classy Clodagh and Eligible Eddie, in the three remaining years before the next local election.

Not only has the new pact been the ruination of the relationship between the councillors formerly known as the PDs, (few words have been exchanged between Declan, Donal and Terry) it has damaged the FF/FG friendship.

FF newcomer Alan Cheevers, or Cheesy Cheevers as he’s known, had become friendly with FG since his election to the Council. Even some of his party colleagues had remarked it was a ‘bit odd’ that he was phoning the FGers, and Classy Clodagh in particular, on an almost daily basis for chats.

Well, no more. They may have been ‘besties’ for over a year but Cheevers has cut all ties with his FG compadrés.

As well as giving them the cold shoulder at Council meetings, Cheevers snubbed them virtually, too. He has removed or blocked Eddie and Clodagh from his friends list on Facebook.

While Eddie evidently hasn’t noticed, and Classy Clodagh described it as ‘kindergarten stuff’, Cheevers is boiling.

“I’m not impressed with the pact decision. We had an alliance from the start of Council with Fine Gael. They decided to shaft us to get two mayors,” he fumed.

For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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