Date Published: 15-Mar-2011
Nothing can have better illustrated the devastation which had befallen Fianna Fail in the General Election than the graphics representing Dail chamber seat occupancy which were published in some of the daily newspapers in the past week.
Fianna Fail, who up to a week previously were regarded as ‘the natural party of power’ for eighty years, were now confined to a very small area indeed of the Dail chamber, while Fine Gael and Labour sprawled all over the place.
In those graphics, FF looked like some sort of slightly puffed-up Progressive Democrats from a few elections ago. People were trying to put words on it. I heard Eamon Ó Cuív TD being interviewed about how sparse the front bench must have looked when it was reduced to less than a handfull. But I think Ó Cuív might have been more familiar with those blanked-out photos occasionally used to show the effects of emigration on football and hurling teams in small clubs in rural areas.
What happened in the election was that someone took that Fianna Fail ‘team picture’ and wiped out more than 50 of the faces with which we had become familiar …. and replaced then with ranks of Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Fein and Independents; new faces which we are all going to have to learn to recognise from the news bulletins.
Ó Cuív is one of those who will have to attempt to pick up the pieces – including a rare old battle which is going on at the moment to stop long-term senators like Donie Cassidy and Terry Leyden, who haven’t any ambition or chance of being new TDs of the future, from running for the Senate. In other words, what Fianna Fail now wants to develop is winners for the future.
Right now though, that looks like it will be a tough business indeed and it will be interesting to see if the FF powers-that-be still have the influence and the backing to implement the kind of ruthless regime which Fine Gael introduced in the wake of the FG 2002 General Election disaster.
It ruthlessly used the Senate and the the 2009 Local Elections to rebuild the party. Remember, Fine Gael in 2002 had fallen from 54 Dail seats to 31, but by the Local Elections of 2009 Enda Kenny had rebuilt it to the point where it swept to its biggest number of Local Council seats ever.
That’s the base from which Fine Gael achieved its success of a week ago. It was in the wake of the Local Elections that Enda Kenny first went on the record as saying that from that point, FG could take 70 or more Dail seats. Some laughed, but the base had been laid for a push for power.
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.