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