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Connacht Tribune

McCabe debacle speeds up clock on Kenny departure

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Maurice McCabe...back on centre stage

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

The “golden rule” for political survival in the face of a media frenzy was supposedly conceived by Tony Blair’s spin-meister Alastair Campbell – and it’s the premise that if the story dominates the headlines for nine days running, then you won’t survive the onslaught, and you will have no choice but to fall on your sword.

Another master of the dark arts, Karl Rove, put it differently – when you are explaining you are losing.

The controversy over the scurrilous unfounded sex-abuse slurs made against Maurice McCabe has eclipsed everything else now for more than a week with that nine-day threshold in sight.

Against that, nobody really resigns in Ireland until they have backed themselves into a cul-de-sac and there is no way out.

Unlike the US where Michael Flynn this week departed from the National Security Adviser job only weeks after being appointed. In Britain, if there is a whiff of cordite in your vicinity, the trapdoor is pulled and you are gone.

But in Ireland we kick everything to touch, clinging to the fig leaf of some kind of public inquiry. Everything is put into suspension until the inquiry concludes.

Commissions of Investigation are one thing. But a Tribunal of Inquiry is a horse of a different colour. By the time it reports, all of the main players will have moved on.

The bill to the State will be millions. And the report will be greeted with mild curiosity, as if you were seeing an exhibit of aspic that gave you a reminder of life long ago.

What happened to McCabe is a scandal. But it has to be dealt with in a manner that is urgent and expeditious and timely (and does not end up costing the State hundreds of millions of euro).

But what we got was a tribunal auction, with the spineless populists (the whole lot of them but Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin to the fore) all clamouring over one another to call for one. The report will be of historic value only, meaningless in the context of reform or correction.

What was inflicted on the McCabe family was beyond terrible. The manner in which it was handled by Tusla was disgraceful.

The same could be said of the HSE. A false allegation of rape arose because of an “administrative error”. It was unforgivable. And then the false allegation was allowed fester even after it became known there was no basis for it.

It beggars belief that McCabe then came to be contacted to be told he was a potential risk to children. But sadly it happened.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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