Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column
Though it will disappoint some of you to learn that Harry Potter lookalike, Mayor Niall McNelis, doesn’t in fact travel by broomstick, many more of you will be pleased to hear of his mayoral car of choice: a hybrid.
Previous mayors have enjoyed being chauffeured around the city in top-of-the-range BMWs and Mercedes but McNelis has opted for a more modest model: a Ford.
And not just any old Ford; an environmentally friendly one at that. The Ford Mondeo Vignale hybrid apparently gives the best of both petrol and electric cars. It uses petrol to power longer journeys and the electric battery is used for short journeys and at low speeds. The high-voltage battery recharges using friction in the brakes.
It’s more efficient and produces fewer emissions.
We’re told Mayor McNelis’ choice of motor has nothing to do with Green Party candidate Pauline O’Reilly having an impact on the ground, and it has everything to do with symbolism.
“Galway is a Green Leaf City, and if we’re serious about that and about the environment, then the First Citizen should be leading by example,” said Niall.
That’s the official line but in layman’s language he just thinks the hybrid Ford is “super cool”.
He’s no rival to bicycle queen of the Claddagh Deputy Catherine Connolly but environmentally-conscious Niall has been spotted now and again on the city’s bike scheme bicycles, although it’s amazing he found one that works.
Upon taking over the chains of office, Niall requested that a hybrid be put into the tender for the mayoral car, and Motorpark won – keeping it local.
Labour Councillor McNelis is a former Fine Gael candidate. And so his mode of transport reflects his politics: a car of many parts for a man of many parties.
Ollie finds fire in FF belly
At last, Fianna Fáil has found fire in its belly. An unlikely stoker of the flames, he might be, but it took Galway City Councillor Oliver Crowe to reawaken some pride in the Soldiers of Destiny . . .
For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune
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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.