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Retiring ‘rebel’ revels in rainbow revolution!

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A political column with Dara Bradley 

One of the last acts as a city councillor for Labour’s Billy Cameron was to meet Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, Hugo René Ramos Milanés, and Consul Soraya Torres Jaime.

The three Sinn Féin city councillors (Cathal Ó Conchúir, Mark Lohan and Maireád Farrell) who lost their seats in the local election, but officially remained elected members until last Friday, met the visiting dignitaries too.

Along with Comrade Cameron and the three Shinners was Mayor of Galway, Niall McNelis (Lab); all five were present when the Cuban flag was hoisted over City Hall last Tuesday week.

It was a big day for the Lefties; and a particularly special one for Comrade Cameron, a long-time admirer of Fidel Castro, who travelled to Cuba in 2016, in a personal capacity, with President Michael D Higgins.

The Cubans came to Galway last week bearing gifts, including famed cigars and bottles of rum from the South America socialist outpost.

Some days later, a ragbag of left-leaning city councillors – including McNelis – joined forces with right-leaning city councillors, including the former PDs, to form a Rainbow mayoral pact.

No blood was shed – yet – but it was truly revolutionary, and it is believed to be the first time Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been frozen out of the controlling pact, and associated spoils, on Galway City Council’s history.

Though he wasn’t involved in the horse-trading, Comrade Cameron, not normally one to give in to temptation, felt the Rainbow Revolution was as good a reason as any to crack open his newly acquired bottle of Havana Club rum, and a much-sought-after Cuban cigar.

“Viva la rainbow revolución,” he toasted.

For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune 

CITY TRIBUNE

Having a gay old time – without Fianna Fáil!

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A Political Column with Dara Bradley 

Gay Pride offers liberal politicians and political parties an opportunity to show how ‘right-on’ they are.
Liberalism is the new religion, and so attending Galway Pride parade, as well as being a practical and welcome show of support to a minority grouping, also offers an opportunity for virtue signalling . . . and some positive PR.
The support of the LGBT+ community has long been coveted by the liberal Left, but now even a traditionally conservative party like Fine Gael – which is led by a gay man, Leo Varadkar – is vying for the pink vote.
The annual Pride parade through the city is an opportunity for political parties to flex their muscles. The number of marchers in the Pride parade offers an unofficial guide to the relevant strength of each political movement, at that particular moment in time. The 2019 edition, the 30th Galway Pride, was no different.
The Social Democrats, the gayest of all parties having sprung up post the marriage equality referendum, has been well represented at Pride ever since it was founded in 2015. There were so many Soc Dems marching in the parade this year – Owen Hanley, a gay Galway City Councillor chief among them – that a rival suggested they must’ve been bussing them in.
The Greens were well represented, too. Back from the brink, and now with two city councillors (Pauline O’Reilly and Martina O’Connor) and one county councillor (Alistair McKinstry), the green revival in the local elections was reflected in their bigger than usual gang at Pride.
The hard left was this year represented by People Before Profit, including Joyless Joe Loughnane, and they’d a decent turnout, although reports that they split due to a rift mid-way down Shop Street couldn’t be confirmed.
Speaking of splits, Sinn Féin, in Galway is divided on whether it should be a socially liberal party, as opposed to a socially conservative one (this divide exists at national level and led to a breakaway party, Aontú being established). Nevertheless, the local Shinners marched in Pride this year, albeit in fewer numbers, with just Mark Lohan and Maireád Farrell, who lost their Council seats in May, joined by a couple of others.
Labour, whose membership is dwindling more than any other leftie party, managed to muster up five marchers, including councillor Niall McNelis and his former Council colleague, the retired Billy Cameron. They had as many marches as SF, and nearly as many as Fine Gael, who in fairness, despite their conservative bent, had the most high-profile turnout of all political parties. The Blueshirts were out in force with Government Chief Whip Seán Kyne, and his constituency colleague, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, joining new city councillors Eddie Hoare and Classy Clodagh Higgins in the parade. The youth wing of Fianna Fáil (Ógra) was in attendance too, but newbie councillor Alan Cheevers was the only elected member of the Soldiers of Destiny spotted marching at Galway Pride.

Mayor Mike in Milwaukee
Mayor of Galway, Mike Cubbard posted a photograph online last week, of the Galway stand at Milwaukee Irish Fest . . . for more Bradley Bytes read this week’s Galway City Tribune 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Craughwell’s bank fees dwarf Ó Céidigh’s frugal meetings

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A Political Column with Dara Bradley

It’s not clear from Senator Gerard Craughwell’s statement of expenditure of Parliamentary Activities Allowance what bank the Salthill-native uses, but I’d humbly suggest he should consider switching.

In his list of expenditure of the allowance paid to Independent TDs and Senators – lodged with SIPO (Standards in Public Office) – Ger Craughwell said his bank fees in 2018 amounted to €75.39.

Not extortionate, but when the taxpayer is footing the bill, maybe it’s best to shop around.

Craughwell’s bank fees are ten times what another Galway senator, Alice Mary Higgins paid for bank fees (€7.50) last year; while Pádraig Ó Céidigh said he paid just €9.09 for “banking charges”.

Alice Mary, meanwhile, included €18.99 on an NUIG Higher Education Diversity Event in her expenditure on policy formulation. A snip.

And Ó Céidigh, the Connemara businessman, listed a whole load of ‘entertainment’ expenses for which he paid over €3,228. That included an end-of-year dinner with 12 people and himself – the last supper of 2018 – which cost €85.25.

He listed having spent €2.80 during a “meeting with researcher”, one of three items of expenditure to the value of €2.80 listed in his entertainment expenses. It’s a case of looking after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves because, apparently, according to his SIPO returns, there were two people at that meeting – presumably himself and a researcher. But for just €2.80, did they share a cappuccino? Oh, the frugality.

Meanwhile, in his SIPO returns, Billy Lawless, has listed 19 different items of expenditure on entertainment, including €160.70 on “Constituents Lunch”, which was attended by six people.

This is probably a mislabelling because senators don’t have constituents or represent geographical constituencies in the way that TDs do.

 

Billy spares blushes of ‘grounded’ mayor

The US-bound plane of Mayor of Galway, Mike Cubbard, never left the tarmac of Dublin Airport as planned on Sunday last . . . for more Bradley Bytes read this week’s Galway City Tribune

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CITY TRIBUNE

Roscam’s ‘Mitch Buchannon’ video won’t save Ballyloughane

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A Political Column with Dara Bradley 

Self-obsessed city councillors, convinced that they are celebrities, are coming up with more ways to promote themselves.
Not content with licking themselves with positive social media posts about how great they are, the new craze for elected members is to dabble in a bit of presenting, by making videos of themselves sounding off on various topics of concern.
Anybody who has seen them will know that dodgy camera work, uneasy eye-contact and woeful scripts, poorly delivered are the norm on these online cameos.
The latest politician to enter the fray is newly elected City Councillor in City East, Alan Cheevers.
The Fianna Fáil man posted a video this week complaining about the poor state of the water quality at Ballyloughane Beach, where ‘no swim’ notices are regularly in place.
His heart is probably in the right place. But Cheesy Cheevers making a video of himself, standing beside the lifeguard hut in Ballyloughane, like Doughiska’s answer to Mitch Buchannan, ain’t gonna get the E.Coli out of the water – no matter how many times he waves his hands in a video, and calls for “action” to fix it.
Does he actually think the relevant Government Minister, while scrolling through his or her Facebook feed, is going to just stumble across his post and suddenly decide to invest in proper infrastructure at the popular beach? Of course not, but it’s the new politics – no substance; all about likes and shares.
Ditto with the Social Democrat’s former Great White Hope, Niall Ó Tuathail (Owen Hanley is the GWH now).
Nialler recently posted a video of himself, atop a hill in Connemara, in which he promised to do everything in his power to prevent gold and silver mining from going ahead. A noble cause; but given he’s not elected to anything, and has no special powers that we know of, the only thing he can do to try and stop it, is to officially lodge his objection through the public submissions process.
That’s what’s available to you, too, and any other Joe soap who wishes to avail of it – and yet the Galway West election candidate is the only one literally shouting from the hilltops about it. Why? Because it’s great for the likes, and giving off an air of doing something. And gullible voters will say of Cheevers and Ó Tuathail, and the rest of the video makers, that ‘he’s the only one doing anything’ when the reality is, they’re doing nothing other than filming their bar-fart musings.

Horses and Halleluiah for Hildegarde!
The number of high-profile national politicians attending the Galway Races was less noticeable than when Fianna Fáil was in power, but a few Blueshirts made the trip, including Fine Gael leader, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar . . . For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune 

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