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Shinners will gain from ‘Fianna Gael’

Dara Bradley



Senator Ollie Crowe: future uncertain for Fianna Fáil

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Apart from your parents and grandparents and their parents voting for Fianna Fáil, the most convincing reason to vote for Fianna Fáil was because it wasn’t Fine Gael. Not great reasons, but the bar is set low in Irish politics.

Then when Fianna Fáil f**ked up, as it did, often, and made a hames of the economy, you’d hold your nose and vote Fine Gael.

And then, just around the time Fine Gael was getting sadistic about balancing the books, and started revelling in austerity it was inflicting, you’d go back to the clutches of Fianna Fáil.

It was similar for Fine Gael supporters. The biggest reason to vote Fine Gael was they weren’t Fianna Fáil.

Sometimes Fine Gaelers switched sides, to ride the Celtic Tiger wave, or to rebel against the party’s socially liberal agenda, but would revert when economic prudence was, well, prudent. And on and on it went. It was ever thus.

There was always a cohort of voters who didn’t trust or like either of the traditional big two. So, they voted for the PDs, Labour, Democratic Left, and Greens to keep an eye on the main party.

Voting for Fine Gael because it’s not Fianna Fáil, and voting for Fianna Fáil because it’s not Fine Gael, cease to be reasons for giving a stroke to either party, if the Programme for Government in the Grand Coalition with the Greens is ratified by membership of the three parties later today.

Luckily, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael supporters now have a new party that they agree to not vote for, so they can continue to vote for each other. Okay, so Sinn Féin is not new, and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voters generally ‘didn’t vote for’ the Shinners, but the new common enemy unites them.

It’ll never hold, though. Because eventually, Fine Fáil and Fianna Gael or whatever you call them, will have to go back to the electorate, looking for votes.

And while they’ll each try to blame the Greens for everything – that’s a given – their election slogan is going to have to be Vote Fianna Fáil and get Fine Gael, and vote Fine Gael and get Fianna Fáil; the opposite of what they preached for 100-years.

Already, the Confidence and Supply agreement, where Fianna Fáil propped up Fine Gael, since 2016, put an end to Civil War politics, and confused the electorate as to the difference between them.

After four more years of government, albeit on an equal footing, the two cheeks of the same Green-tinged arse, will be even more indistinguishable.

And there can be only one winner in that scenario: Sinn Féin.

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


Titans return to the national league for coming season

Keith Kelly



The Titans team which was defeated by Moycullen in the National Cup semi-final in 2009. Back row, from left: Joe Bree (manager), John Finn (assistant coach), David O'Keefe, Conall MacMichael, Darren Callanan, Patrick O'Neill, Colin Turke, Paul Freeman, and Mike Lynch (coach). Front: Cian McKeown, Danny Finn, Rimyvdas Visockas, Derek Mulveen, Paulius Peldzius, and Jack Considine.

TITANS BC is returning to the national league for the upcoming 2020/21 season, one of four new teams that will compete in the Men’s Division 1 this year.

The city side will play in the Northern Conference of the league alongside fellow new sides, Drogheda Wolves and Malahide, along with Ulster University from Belfast; LYIT from Donegal; Sligo All-Stars; and Dublin Lions and Tolka Rovers from Dublin.

That looks to be the easier of the two conferences: Dublin Lions were relegated from the Super League at the end of last season, LYIT finished 5th in Division 1, Sligo finished 8th, Ulster University finished 9th, and Tolka Rovers finished 10th in a 12-team league competition that ran as a single league, rather than split into two conferences.

With four new teams for the coming season – Team Kerry are the 4th new side – Division 1 is returning to a split conference format, and all the heavy-hitters would appear to be in the Southern Conference.

Team Kerry will be joined by fellow Killarney side, St Paul’s, which finished second in the league last season, as well as Cork’s Fr Mathews and IT Carlow, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

Limerick Celtics and Limerick Eagles, who finished 6th and 7th, are also in the Southern Conference, as well as last season’s bottom two, WIT Waterford and Portlaoise Panthers.

Titans took a one-year hiatus from the league last season, having endured a torrid 2018/19 campaign when it finished with the worst record in the league, winning just two of its 23 league games to finish bottom of the Northern Conference.

Maree and Moycullen will once again represent Galway in the Men’s Super League, which is also being split into a two-conference format, with six teams in each conference. However, while Titans will be looking north for their main opposition, Maree and Moycullen will be looking in the opposite direction as both have been placed in the South Conference.

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

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Group hurling ties to be restricted to supporters of participating teams

John McIntyre



Ronan Elwood of Liam Mellows, and Castlegar's Donal McGreal in action during the group stages of last year's senior county championship.

NO neutrals will be allowed to attend the opening round of the revamped Galway senior hurling championship which is scheduled to start in little more than a fortnight’s time.

A gathering of 500 – likely to also include the rival players and mentors – will be restricted to each group game, with the participating clubs set to be allocated around 200 tickets each for sale/distribution ahead of the fixture.

A mechanism has still to be sorted for this process, but matches will be restricted to Galway’s three county grounds: Pearse Stadium, Kenny Park, Athenry and Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, along with Loughrea. Killimor was the fifth venue in consideration for hosting senior games, but redevelopment work at the ground has ruled out that prospect.

The full round of 12 group ties will go ahead on the weekend ending July 26, but there will be no double headers. Instead, games at the same venues will be staged four hours apart to allow sanitisation of the various grounds.

Only people with tickets will gain entry to the games and there will be no cash taken at the turnstiles.



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Street fight thugs from viral video outside Garda HQ avoid jail




A still from the video of the brawl close to the Garda HQ in Renmore.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two men and a woman who were involved in a ‘staged’ fistfight outside the new Garda HQ in Renmore were warned they will serve prison sentences if they don’t stay off social media for two years.

Suspended sentences were imposed on all three over the incident which was recorded on mobile phone and footage went viral on social media.

The altercation between John Maughan (27), formerly of Rinville Park, Oranmore, who now lives in Dublin, and Patrick Maughan (31), of 122 Laurel Park, Newcastle, was filmed on Patrick Maughan’s phone by his wife, Ellen Maughan (31), who is John Maughan’s sister.

The footage was uploaded that evening to YouTube, where it gained a lot of traction.

Galway District Court heard this week the trio were sitting in their cars when Gardaí arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes.

They were subsequently charged with affray at Dublin Road, Murrough, Renmore, on November 2, 2018, in that all three used or threatened to use violence towards each other, thereby putting other people present in fear for their own safety and the safety of others.

Both men were also charged with breaching the peace.

Garda Pat Casey told the sentence hearing the incident occurred at 2.30pm on the main road between GMIT and the Garda HQ.

He said the men’s cars met, whether by accident or design, at that location where they got out and had a fist fight in the middle of the road.

Judge Mary Fahy asked if the location chosen for the fight, right outside the new Garda HQ, was deliberate.

Garda Casey said the men claimed they met by accident, “but that was where they met”, he added.

“The inference is they did it deliberately outside the Station to make it even better on social media. They are an absolute disgrace to do that in public and to do it in front of their children,” Judge Fahy said.
This is a shortened preview version of this court report. To read the article in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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