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Bradley Bytes

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

Hanley the Survivor to usurp Ó Tuathaill

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Owen Hanley is a fan of Survivor, the US reality-competition TV series, aired weekly on TG4.

Galway’s first and only Social Democrat elected to political office, City Councillor Owen Hanley, apparently never misses an episode. In fairness, it can be compelling viewing.

Contestants marooned on a desert island must fend for themselves in terms of sourcing food, shelter, water and fire. The players compete with each other for rewards and immunity from elimination. One contestant is voted off each week at Tribal Council, in an anonymous ballot of their peers.

When it’s whittled down to only two or three contestants, at the Final Tribal Council those who have already been voted off, return and decide which remaining contestant is crowned champion.

So, playing dirty might help you get to the final, but if you’ve double-crossed people to get there, then you’re unlikely to win.

The game is all about trying to outwit, outplay and outlast fellow tribe members . . . and often that brings out all sorts of skulduggery and back-stabbing.

Maybe that’s how Owen Hanley got a taste for politics; and he’d have seen his fair share of shenanigans during his first year on Galway City Council.

Often in Survivor, it’s the least likely contestants who remain standing at the end – and Hanley was certainly a surprise package in the May local elections, taking a seat in City East at the expense of Sinn Féin’s Mairéad Farrell, who has since become a TD. But is Hanley eyeing Dáil Éireann, too?

Mister Social Democrats in Galway, Níall Ó Tuathail, enjoys almost cult-like status within the party locally. And yet, he’s been unsuccessful in two General Elections in Galway West. Losing out in the recent Seanad Éireann elections was another kick in the teeth for Nialler.

Throw in that he declined to run in the Locals, and Ó Tuathail may just be losing his lustre among the ‘purple party’ faithful.

Initially, last May, opponents of the Soc Dems wondered how long Hanley would last before losing interest and facilitating the co-option of Ó Tuathail to the City Council. Now there are mutterings that Hanley – the only Soc Dem in Galway who is proven electorally – may usurp Nialler, and challenge for the right to be on the Dáil ticket at the next election.

He’ll need Survivor instincts but it’d be a twist worthy of a final Tribal Council meeting.
This is a shortened preview version of this week’s Bradley Bytes. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspaper, this website would not exist. You can buy a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Do as I say, not as I do’ damages Covid-19 unity

Dara Bradley

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Cllr Frank Fahy sent us this photo of a sanitiser station outside City Hall last week. Maybe the antics of their country cousins around landscaping drove them to drink.

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

In this column last week, we questioned city councillors’ leadership qualities during lockdown.

Heading over to the Westside for a photo opportunity at the opening of new social housing – welcome and all as that project is – was hardly an ‘essential journey’.

The homes were built, the families could have moved in, and the fanfare of handing the keys over should have waited until the lockdown restrictions had eased.

The ‘stay at home’ public health advice that so many of them preached for weeks on social media, didn’t appear to apply to elected members of Galway City Council.

Well, they weren’t the only ones preaching, ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. Their country cousins were at it too.

Municipal District meetings for different parts of County Galway resumed last week. At the beginning of one such meeting at County Hall, two county councillors were spotted shaking hands. Seriously, shaking hands during a pandemic and national health emergency?

The layout of the Chamber and seating arrangements were such that two-metre distancing could be maintained, and hand sanitiser was provided. But those precautions aren’t much good if two councillors insist on shaking hands as if the coronavirus hasn’t killed hundreds of people in Ireland.

During the Tuam Municipal District meeting last Thursday, one senior official, in response to queries, said that landscaping was not considered an ‘essential’ service under the then Government guidelines. That’s why, he said, that landscaping had not taken place at the new social housing development at Gilmartin Road in Tuam, which had become overgrown. Once restrictions were lifted – this week – it would be included on a list of works the County Council’s outdoor staff would get to.

And he said it with a straight face; and councillors accepted it. Nobody pointed out that, on the way into that meeting, and on the way out, workers with hedge trimmers and leaf blowers were busy working outside at Prospect Hill.

So here we had an official saying landscaping was not an essential service, and couldn’t be done until lockdown restrictions were lifted, but as he spoke those words, outside of the building, was a gang of gardeners trimming hedges and sprucing up shrubbery at County Hall. Pat Shortt couldn’t make it up for Killinaskully!
This is a shortened preview version of this week’s Bradley Bytes. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspaper, this website would not exist. You can buy a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Attack on Mayor Mike is an attack on us all

Dara Bradley

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Graffiti on Westside Community Centre last week

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Racist and homophobic idiots haven’t gone away during Covid-19. They’re still very much a stain on our city.

We’ve witnessed two instances of ugliness in the past week. One, at the Westside Community Centre, involved the Mayor of Galway, Mike Cubbard (Ind); the other was just general racist nastiness.

Mayor Mike was once again targeted by an illiterate, ignorant gobdaw. Calling the First Citizen a “Fagit (sic)”, this particular boil on the buttocks of society, who cannot spell, also menacingly threatened to “burn (Cubbard) out of it”.

Tempting as it is to dismiss this graffiti as an act of a crazy, attention-seeking ingrate, it is a concern for Mayor Mike, his wife Karen and young children. It happened last year, too, and we must all condemn it – an attack on the Mayor is an attack on us all.

Meanwhile, a racist slur was spray-painted onto the bridge at the Dyke Road. Some ignoramus sprayed the phrase “blacks out” on the bridge wall last Thursday. A meaningless slogan in many respects, but a menacing, hurtful and racist one nonetheless.

Councillor Owen Hanley (Soc Dems), spray-painted over the offensive slur with black paint after it was brought to his attention.

One in five Galway City residents are non-Irish nationals, and we like to see ourselves as the multi-cultural capital of Ireland. But last week’s acts of vandalism remind us that pig-ignorance remains.

This is a shortened preview version of this week’s Bradley Bytes. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspaper, this website would not exist. You can buy a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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