Date Published: 06-Apr-2011
My memory of one of the highpoints of the election campaign is of Micheal Martin leading a band of Fianna Fail people through the streets of Galway and of the enthusiasm generated by the mere fact that, at last, Fianna Fail people felt the party was fighting back.
They were in superb form. Maybe up to one hundred of them had gathered to welcome the new party leader. They strode down through the Eyre Square Shopping Centre, on down the main streets …… and you began to feel that, with a new leader, it might be a bit premature to write-off Fianna Fail just yet.
In that crowd, only the seriously deluded could have believed that Fianna Fail were not heading for an electoral reverse of major proportions ….. the loss of a seat in Galway (Frank Fahey’s) was well predicted, but very few believed that we might see a party reduced to 20 seats in the Dail.
However, despite the dire predictions, the coming together of a band of Fianna Fail people with a new leader, gave the Galway FF people a bit of a lift that went on for a few hours. In other words, the morale might be damaged, but Michael Martin was doing – perhaps unconciously! – what Enda Kenny had done for Fine Gael from 2002.
From 2002 Kenny went on the ‘rubber chicken circuit,’ night after night, bringing together hundreds of FG people in what might be called ‘town hall meetings.’ The idea was to get over the utter demoralisation which has been brought on by the 2002 General Election in which FG dropped to 32 Dail seats.
It was a time when there were widespread predictions that Fine Gael could not survive. Nationally, many media commentators poured scorn on what Kenny was at, but that endless series of rallies involving hundreds of party supporters was where Fine Gael laid the foundations of a bounce back in the 2009 Local Elections – contests which produced a number of their candidates for the 2011 General Election triumph.
Seven weeks out from the General Election and Micheal Martin was in action in the Dail last week rightly questioning Fine Gael and Labour on their rhetoric in the election campaign on ‘burning the bond holders.’ The honeymoon is still not over in the media for the new government ….. they got a relatively ‘easy ride’ in the media for the Michael Noonan line of two new ‘pillar banks.’
But nationally a number of political commentators are beginning to wonder when is Micheal Martin going to embark on the kind of rebuilding which Enda Kenny did? Where is the Micheal Martin who led the FF troops down the main street in Galway and, at least for a few hours, convinced them things might not be ‘that bad.’
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.