Bradley Bytes: Mayor’s mea culpa over Council chaos

Palsy-walsy . . . Mayor Niall McNelis (Right) pictured here at the Mayoral Ball last weekend with Councillors Mike Cubbard and Noel Larkin, has admitted that he is ‘too lenient’ when chairing City Council meetings.
Palsy-walsy . . . Mayor Niall McNelis (Right) pictured here at the Mayoral Ball last weekend with Councillors Mike Cubbard and Noel Larkin, has admitted that he is ‘too lenient’ when chairing City Council meetings.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley 

The behaviour of Galway City Councillors is back in the spotlight. Some elected members were never too well-behaved at City Hall, but ’tis worse they’re getting.

The nadir was reached earlier this year when the chairman, Mayor of Galway, Niall McNelis, had to apologise for cursing in the Chamber during a Council meeting.

Noel Larkin (Ind) had a torrid time of it during his tenure in the mayoral hot-seat – but at least the newbie councillor could use inexperience as an excuse for him struggling to keep order at meetings. McNelis, on the other hand, is a little more seasoned.

Alas, meetings with McNelis at the helm have sometimes descended into chaos. It’s got so bad, that a special meeting of the City Council’s procedures committee was convened recently to try and put some smacht on councillors in the few meetings that are left before May’s local elections.

This is a cross-party committee where the rules of engagement for Council meetings are agreed between councillors.

Mayor McNelis, we hear, conceded at the procedures committee that he was, perhaps, too lenient at Council meetings.

This is especially the case when members seek clarifications but aren’t looking to clarify anything and are, actually, just wanting to hog the microphone and go on a rant.

“I might be a bit easy on people,” the mayor is reported to have said.

But in the cut and thrust of local politics, the iron fist would frequently appear to be more effective than the velvet glove.

For more Bradley Bytes about the procedures committee meeting, Cathal Ó Conchúir’s mobile phone problems, and MJ Crowe’s mayoral tweet, see this week’s Galway City Tribune