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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Rainbow’ coalition to control Galway City Council

Dara Bradley

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Outgoing Mayor Niall McNelis and former mayor Noel Larkin have confirmed they will not be honouring an agreement they signed with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to form a controlling mayoral pact on Galway City Council.

Both councillors had signed up to a five-year ‘mayoral pact’ with the two Civil War parties. But they have confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that they changed their minds and will be supporting an alternative pact – which will result in five Independents becoming mayors over the five-year term of the new City Council.

Cllrs Larkin and McNelis insisted the deal was changed subsequent to them signing it – making it null and void and they were then ‘free agents’ to negotiate with others.

Cllr Mike Crowe, Fianna Fáil’s negotiator, said he and his colleagues had lost trust in the pair.

Under the new deal, Mike Cubbard (Ind), the poll-topper in City Central, will become mayor later today (4pm Friday), at what could be a tense and fractious Annual General Meeting of the City Council at City Hall.

Both Cllrs Larkin and McNelis have confirmed to Galway City Tribune that they have since reconsidered a deal agreed last week.

“I signed an agreement, yes. I signed an agreement, which then changed, so to me that agreement is no longer lasting. I sought legal advice and I was told by senior counsel that I’m perfectly within my rights to walk away from it. Everyone is entitled to change their mind,” said Mayor McNelis.

Cllr Larkin said, subsequent to him signing the agreement, approaches were made to other councillors who were not party to it, including an offer of a Deputy Mayor to Social Democrat Owen Hanley. This was denied by the pact.

Cllr Mike Crowe said he was “shocked” at what happened.

“You’ve two individuals who have totally committed to an agreement, signed up to it and are now reneging and ultimately aren’t going to go ahead with it. It wasn’t just shaking hands or a gentleman’s agreement; it was a completed and signed agreement,” he said.
This is an abridged preview of the article. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

Changes to garda structure require ‘feet on the ground’

Francis Farragher

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STRUCTURAL changes in Garda management – which will see the current Western Region merged with the Northern area – need to be backed up with ‘feet on the ground’, according to the Chairperson of the city’s Joint Policing Committee.

Cllr Niall McNelis said he also had concerns over the impact that a reduction in Garda Superintendents and Chief Superintendents could have on the management of the force across the Galway region.

“I know that the stated intention of the Commissioner [Drew Harris] is to increase the frontline presence of Gardaí but this cannot be achieved without more feet on the ground.

“There also has to be concerns over an apparent lack of consultation on the changes with Garda Superintendents who really play a key role in managing the Garda resources at local level,” said Cllr McNelis.

He added that in the aftermath of the financial crash in Ireland, Garda resources – both in terms of personnel and equipment – had taken a huge hit, with this ‘lost ground’ still not being made up.

“The bottom line in all of this is: will we see more Gardaí on the beat; more Gardaí operating at local level and in touch with local people; and also a management structure that’s in touch with local communities?” Cllr McNelis asked.

One of the major changes announced by Commissioner Drew Harris is a reduction in the number of national Garda regions across the country from six to four, each one under the control of an Assistant Commissioner.  The Western Garda Region – that had consisted of Galway, Clare, Roscommon/Longford and Mayo – will now be merged into one region amalgamating with the North.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Traffic gridlock – specialist traffic control operator at City Hall among proposed solutions

Francis Farragher

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THE city came close to complete gridlock on last Tuesday with a combination of minor accidents, roadworks, visitor numbers, an influx of shoppers and bad weather, making it a nightmare afternoon and evening for motorists.

Eyre Square, College Road, Lough Atalia, the Moneenagheisha junction and the dual-carriageway leading up to the Briarhill traffic-lights, endured the most severe clog-ups, but commuters across the city reported long delays from lunchtime through to the later evening period.

Former Mayor of Galway and taxi-operator, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that by early afternoon he had to abandon his efforts to continue working.

“I know that there was a huge volume of traffic in the city due to back-to-school shoppers and there were also reports of a number of minor accidents, but I still think that we can do better in terms of managing the flow of vehicles.

“The roadworks in Bohermore were no help and there were reports of a number of minor accidents but we also have real problems with parking and signage issues in the city.

“And most of all, we need a hands-on specialist traffic control operator – experienced and skilled in traffic management – in the control room at City Hall, to monitor flows at all our key junctions,” said Cllr Fahy.

Public transport also got completely bogged down in the Tuesday evening snarl-up with bus commuters from the city to Oranmore reporting a journey time of close on one hour and 20 minutes.

Buses took up to 20 minutes to make it from their stops in Eyre Square to even get onto College Road which had almost ground to a complete standstill at around 5.30pm.

Another motorist told the Galway City Tribune that his journey time from Forster Street to the Briarhill junction was one hour and 50 minutes on Tuesday evening – 4.10pm to 6pm.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Jon Kenny visits Áras Éanna with hit show Crowman

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Actor and comedian Jon Kenny will visit Áras Éanna on Inis Oírr this Saturday, August 24, performing in Katie Holly’s hit one-man show Crowman.

The play premiered at the 2018 Cork Midsummer Festival, receiving standing ovations from audiences and praise from critics.

Crowman is the story of Dan Lonergan and the characters he meets throughout his life.

It’s about lost love and the sense of belonging and not belonging in a small community. Most of all, it’s about the humanity and decency of people in every village and town in Ireland.

As Dan himself surmises: ‘Some people never had the dance that I had and some people never hear the music.’

Jon Kenny carries the audience on a roller-coaster ride from Dan’s childhood to middle-age, from the hurling pitch to the pub and from one uproariously funny character to the other.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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