Date Published: 13-Apr-2011
Events move on rapidly in politics. It seems like only yesterday the Fianna Fail West Galway selection convention was on and the ticket essentially selected itself – Eamon Ó Cuív, Frank Fahey and Mayor Michael Crowe.
On the night, two Dail seats seemed like they just might be possible, despite truly awful opinion polls nationally. One of the ‘hopefuls’ waiting in the wings was City Councillor Peter Keane, who had intimated his interest in possibly standing, but who had to ‘give way’ to the two sitting TDs and the Mayor on the basis that this was felt to be the best ticket that could be selected.
It’s very early days yet – and we still have to have the 2014 Local Elections before the next General Election if this Fine Gael-Labour Government runs its course – but the ‘field’ for Fianna Fail has now opened up in front of young city solicitor Peter Keane, with Eamon Ó Cuív the only survivor of the FF ticket.
Frank Fahey has bowed out of the Dail after thirty years of service in the constituency and then came last week’s announcement by Mayor Michael Crowe that he is to take a back seat from politics in the months to come as he devotes more time to business interests.
So, the opportunity has now opened up for Peter Keane – a man who has been making considerable headway on the city council and who is very prominently associated with the hugely important discussion on whether the City Plan is in fact legal, or may be subject to any number of challenges.
Peter Keane proved one of the surprise packets on an otherwise awful day for FF in the Local Elections in 2009 when he took a seat in the five-seater City West area (Knocknacarra, Salthill, Claddagh), where there were some pretty fancied other contenders still left in the race in the shape of Fine Gael’s John Mulholland and the Green Party’s Niall Ó Brolchain. They were still in the running when Peter Keane took his seat.
Keane got 869 first preferences and held on to take a seat that was a bit of a coup for Fianna Fail on a day when the party was being wiped out all over the place. Equally importantly, the party will have noted that he brought with him a decent personal vote, along with a series of personal contacts which proved very useful when it came to the all-important last minute campaigning by phone.
However, being a city councillor and translating it into a Dail seat where you have to get 5,000 votes to be even ‘in the mix’ is a very different contest, and the first thing Keane has to do is consolidate his local Galway City Council base, hold his city council seat, and then try to push on with whoever might be his running mate at the time of a General Election in five years time.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.