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CITY TRIBUNE

Mayor manages mudslinging from councillors with one eye on election

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley 

You’d know there’s a general election on the horizon, with the way some city councillors are taking aim at each other in the Council chamber.
Mayor Mike Cubbard (Ind) ruled with an iron fist at the latest ordinary sitting of the Council, which ensured there were no unseemly out-and-out slagging matches between elected members. But there were skirmishes and snide digs aplenty.
Greens versus Fianna Fáil; Social Democrats versus Fianna Fáil; Fianna Fáil versus Fine Gael; and Independents versus Greens. It was hard to keep up.
Many of the flashpoints came during a discussion of that hot topic, climate change.
Pauline O’Reilly (Greens) was close to having a conniption when John ‘Comeback’ Connolly (FF), had the temerity, as she saw it, to welcome the Draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, which outlined some of the possible ‘positive’ impacts of global warming on the city – increased tourism, because of sunnier days and less rain.
In fairness, after one of the wettest August’s on record, reasoned John, the people of Galway might welcome a few more beach days. Pauline, puce, said he’d shown a complete lack of understanding of global warming.
In a tag-team against John, Owen Hanley (Soc Dems) chimed in, and said a 1% average increase in temperatures would bring hotter summers in Ireland and death in poorer countries.
Council employee Paul Patty, who prepared the draft strategy, was asked to adjudicate. They were both right, he said. There are potential benefits to Galway (more sunny days and increased tourism) but climate change will have a devasting effect on developing countries. A diplomatic response.
Pauline, the Greens general election candidate in Galway West, pointed out that only she and her party colleague, Martina O’Connor, had made submissions to the strategy. Colette Connolly (Ind), whose sister Catherine will face a challenge to her Dáil seat from Pauline, went bananas and issued a riposte about her “casting aspersions” on other councillors.
Earlier, John, a teacher, must’ve felt like a pupil getting told off in class when Pauline barked at him for interrupting.
“We can have a chat outside, if you like, but this is actually a Council chamber; now, if I could just make my point,” she snorted.
John was in the wars again later. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had almost done a deal on a mayoral pact, but subsequently couldn’t cobble together the numbers (don’t mention the war!) and yet they were at each other’s throats about homelessness.
John lashed the FG-led Government for being out of touch, a Dublin-centric administration that cared little about the housing crisis. It was being propped up by FF, but he urged party leader Míchéal Martin to pull the plug on confidence and supply. Rookie Eddie Hoare (FG) made a meek response about Connolly having ‘some neck’. But it was left to seasoned Blueshirt Frank Fahy who gave FF welly, when reminding the Soldiers of Destiny of the Fianna Fáil tent at the Galway Races, where developers rubbed shoulders and drank expensive plonk with FF Government ministers, during the Celtic tiger construction boom. Civil War politics at its finest.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Huge reward for ‘dognap’ – as canine companion dies of broken heart

Denise McNamara

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James with Biggy, Poopie and Little One

Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most famous dog, Biggy the Irish Wolfhound, has “died of a broken heart” after his Jack Russell best mate was the victim of a suspected ‘dognap’ – which led to the owner putting up a €20,000 reward.

Following a social media campaign which went viral, Biggy was famously reunited with his family 11 days after he went missing in 2013. He was discovered on the motorway outside Athenry.

Nine years later, James Leopold Mechels has erected hundreds of posters all over the city and suburbs in a desperate bid to find the ageing Jack Russell he calls ‘Little One’.

The Belgian native recently increased a reward for the return of his beloved pooch from €1,000 to €20,000. But so far, no credible sightings have been made.

“He’s been missing for 3,288 hours – 137 days, I’m so exhausted, so upset, so anxious. I’ve stopped working to focus all of my effort into finding him. I’ve cycled all over the city, I’ve driven to the horse fair in Ballinasloe,” James told the Galway City Tribune this week.
This is a preview only. To read more of James’ story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

■ Anybody with information is asked to call 087 0650678 or Ark Vets on 091 584185.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Row deepens over Tiny Traders market

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Galway City Tribune – The row between the Tiny Traders Village and Galway Arts Centre – the operators of Nuns’ Island Theatre – deepened this week as the Arts Centre announced its intentions to open its own market on the site.

Manager of the Tiny Traders Village, Paul David Murphy, has claimed this was proof that it was always Galway Arts Centre, and its Managing Director, Páraic Breathnach’s, intention to “force” them out, adding that he had felt under constant threat of being shut down.

“It did come as a bit of a shock, but it was something I was expecting,” said Mr Murphy of a post on social media announcing that a new market would open.

“It’s now obvious that they were trying to get rid of us and I can’t believe how transparent they’ve been. Up until this point, there had been a little degree of mystery as to why this happened. It’s sad because the Tiny Traders Village was working really well.”

This comes following a decision by the Tiny Traders to cease trading two weeks ago, citing changes that Galway Arts Centre had requested that Mr Murphy said would have made his business “unviable”.

Speaking to the Galway City Tribune this week, Páraic Breathnach confirmed that they had requested changes – involving layout alterations and clearance – but this had been done due to health and safety concerns.

“There were changes requested to comply with fire regulations, safety and health. They were in relation to the blocking of pathways, the blocking of fire exits, clearance between stalls and the affixing of canopies to a listed building,” said Mr Breathnach.
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, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for Gardaí to confiscate vehicles involved in fly-tipping

Francis Farragher

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Children's toys, a bed and a cot amongst an illegal dumping site in Ballybane

Galway City Tribune –  confiscation of vehicles – and driver disqualification – have been sought by a Galway TD and a local councillor for those involved in illegal dumping.

According to Independent TD, Noel Grealish and Independent councillor, Noel Larkin, illegal dumping on the east side of Galway City has now reached ‘an all-time high’.

Last week, Deputy Grealish and Cllr Larkin, met with Climate Action and Environment Minister, Richard Bruton, to seek new measures cracking down on those involved in illegal dumping.

“I asked Minister Bruton to introduce legislation that would result in driver disqualification for persons convicted of illegal dumping while using a vehicle. I am also seeking for the introduction of legislation that will give judges the power to order the confiscation of vehicles used for illegal dumping,” said Deputy Grealish.

The Gardaí and Galway City and Council Councils have now been asked to establish an ‘all-county initiative’ to tackle the problem.

This year, Galway City Council was allocated just €50,000 from a €7.4m Government fund to tackle illegal dumping – the lowest figure of any local authority in the country.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage of the illegal dumping issue, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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