A former Mayor of Galway and the brother of a rebel TD are among those selected to contest the local elections for Fine Gael in the city next year.
And it has been learned that the party may add candidates in all three electoral wards over the coming weeks.
A total of five candidates were selected at the convention held in Salthill, with only one contest taking place.
John Mulholland, who lost his seat at the last City Council elections, has been chosen to contest the Galway City West ward alongside Michelle Murphy.
Meanwhile, John Walsh, brother of former Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh, has been selected to run in the Galway City East ward after he comprehensively defeated John Rabbitte, a member of the Doughiska branch, in a head to head battle.
Indeed there were two other nominations in this electoral ward, namely Shane Forde and Des O’Dowd, but they withdrew their names in advance of the convention.
In the Galway City Central electoral area, sitting councillor and Mayor of Galway Padraic Conneely was selected alongside Cllr Frank Fahy who moves from the east ward following the boundary changes that took place earlier this year.
Fine Gael have hopes of increasing their representation on Galway City Council from three to possibly five in view of the fact that there are more seats available.
There are now three more seats added to Galway City Council meaning that it rises from 15 to 18 seats.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel
Help at hand for hand-pressed families this Christmas
Galway people struggling to cover the cost of Christmas have been urged to seek help from the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
The SVP Galway area’s network of 27 conferences is experiencing a surge in requests for help with food, energy and heating bills as the cost-of-living soars – but Galway area President Séamus McManus insisted help was at hand.
“There is hope out there, and there is help available for people in trouble. We might not be able to do everything but we can help, especially coming up to Christmas.
“Imagine a Christmas that is cold and hungry? That would be no Christmas at all, so we have help. We want people to at least enjoy those few days of Christmas,” Mr McManus said.
SVP said it was “deeply concerned” by new Central Statistics Office data which showed a sharp rise in households going without essentials such as nutritious food, adequate heating and clothing; up by 184,000 to 875,000 people nationally compared with 2021.
SVP nationally is getting an average of 800 calls per day, which is up about 20% on last year. This is mirrored in Galway city and county, too, Mr McManus said.
“We’ve had some heart-breaking requests where the main breadwinner had a serious diagnosis and it meant their whole life has been thrown into turmoil; they can’t pay rent, they can’t pay ordinary family living expenses.
“We’ve also had students with mental health issues who have had to pull out of college and lose their SUSI grants and they’re left high and dry. We’ve had people with relationship breakdown, where maintenance wouldn’t be forthcoming and they’re left in a precarious position,” he added.
Galway Professor on taking the reins as country’s top doc
Three weeks after Professor Breda Smyth was appointed Ireland’s interim Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
It proved a baptism of fire for Tony Holohan’s successor, who already had the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in her in-tray.
But the Mayo native, who lives in Galway, took it all in her stride.
“It’s a significant responsibility. I am taking it one step at a time,” said the country’s first female CMO.
And in fairness, it’s not like she’s wet round the ears when it comes to strategising for infectious diseases.
Professor Smyth may be best known outside of medical circles in Galway for her traditional Irish musical talents, but she was also the public face of the Covid-19 pandemic as HSE West Director of Public Health.
Through that HSE role, which she held for 13 years, she became a member of NPHET (the National Public Health Emergency Team) that advised Government on how to steer the country through the pandemic; as well as being a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing, and a founding member of the Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group.
That experience stood to her since becoming interim CMO in July, which progressed to a permanent position in October.
Former Minister slams ‘rotten and corrupt’ IFI
By Dara Bradley
A Galway Senator has slammed Inland Fisheries Ireland as ‘rotten and corrupt’ – and Fine Gael’s Seán Kyne has threatened to use parliamentary privilege to highlight what he labelled as ‘issues of corruption’ within IFI.
Senator Kyne is a former Minister of State with responsibility for natural resources, which encompassed IFI which itself is responsible for the protection of waters, including Lough Corrib. Speaking in the Seanad last Thursday, he referenced a review that was commissioned by the Minister for the Environment, Climate Action and Communications, Eamon Ryan, into the functioning of the board of IFI.
A report by senior counsel Conleth Bradley concluded last July and was sent to the Department and to IFI before being published on November 7.
Senator Kyne said he has read the report, which used legalese to conclude: “There is not a basis, from the alleged disclosures and the information and documentation which have been reviewed, for the Minister to be satisfied that the functions of IFI are not being performed in an effective manner such as to give effect to the removal of all members of IFI from office.”