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Galway East

Stroke politics to make a comeback!

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A section of the large crowd of supporters that turned out for Cllr.Michael Fahys' Launch Campaign in O'Grady's Bar and Restaurant, The Square, Gort. Photo: David O’Reilly.

The Stroke is making a comeback in Michael Fahy’s bid to win a Dáil seat!

The Galway County Councillor had asked that his nickname ‘Stroke’ no longer be associated with his name. But in possibly one of his greatest strokes of all, which has the electorate talking, the Independent general election candidate for Galway East has resurrected one of the best known names in local politics: Michael ‘Stroke’ Fahy.

“At least every one in the West of Ireland knows me as the Stroke either affectionately or otherwise. The people know me as Stroke. I’ve no shame in any name I’ve ever used. I have a clean pair of shoes,” he said.

The Galway County Councillor of 37 years resurrected the Stroke nickname in newspaper advertisements last week, which read: ‘Stroke Strikes Back’.

He said he brought it back when on February 5, the day the election was called, he wanted to set up a website but the domain Michael Fahy had already been taken. “There’s only one Michael Stroke Fahy,” he smiled.

The Ardrahan-based elected representative explained that the nickname doesn’t have negative connotations and was coined by the former editor of the Connacht Tribune, the late John Cunningham.

In 1979, Fahy was beaten at the Fianna Fáil convention by Cyril Farrell but was later added to the ticket, in a move described by the political analyst as the ‘stroke of the century’.

Later, when he was on the same ticket as former Fianna Fáil minister Frank Fahy, the ‘Stroke’ was retained in order to differentiate between the two Fahys. A large crowd turned up at O’Grady’s of Gort on Friday as Cllr Fahy kick-started his election campaign.

If elected, he pledged to fight for a solution to the flooding in South and East Galway, including building two channels to the sea as drainage and cleaning Dunkellin River. Cllr Fahy, a farmer, also vowed to expose the “biggest scandal in this country”, which was the “cosy cartel” in the beef industry.

“It is a disgrace that a finished animal in Britain and the six counties is making an average of €400 more than in the Republic. This must be exposed. It is hitting the producer, the farmer,” he said.

Reviving and breathing new life into Loughrea and Gort and growing jobs was another top priority, he said.  In keeping with his nickname, Cllr Fahy also managed to pull off coup this week, when he revealed Pope Francis had his constituents in his prayers.

The papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles J. Brown, in a letter of reply to Cllr Fahy this week, said: “I have informed Pope Francis about the flooding. I can assure you of his prayerful concern for all the people who have suffered the effects of this very distressing situation.”

It was a stroke of sorts!

City East

TALLIES: Fine Gael will struggle to hold seat in City East

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Fine Gael will struggle to hold its seat in Galway City East.

City Councillor John Walsh – a brother of former Fine Gael TD in Galway West, Brian Walsh – is on 5.7% with three-quarters of the boxes opened.
The tallies indicate that Mairéad Farrell of Sinn Féin is also under pressure on 6.75%.
Fianna Fáil is in with a strong shout of taking two seats with Cllr Michael John Crowe (10%) and running mate Alan Cheevers (16%) polling well.
Independents Terry O’Flaherty (14%) and Declan McDonnell (12%) are going well and will hold; but Noel Larkin (8%) is in a battle to retain his seat.
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City East

TALLIES: Cheevers looks set to take a seat in City East

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With just over half the boxes tallied for Galway City East, Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers looks set to take a seat, polling at over 17 per cent of first preferences.

With Mervue, Ballybane and Tirellan polling stations still to be tallied, Cheevers has taken the lead, with Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty slipping into second with 16 per cent.

Incumbent Fianna Fáil councillor Mike Crowe is on 10.5 per cent, with Independent councillor Declan McDonnell on 8 per cent.

The Green’s Claire Hillery looks to be benefitting from the party’s nationwide jump in the polls, collecting 6.5 per cent of first preferences.

Sitting Councillors Noel Larkin (Ind), Mairéad Farrell (SF) and John Walsh (FG) are polling at 7.5 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

Also still in contention is the Social Democrats’ Owen Hanley with 6.6 per cent of the vote.

City East Tallies with 50% of boxes open

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Galway East

Deal demands better focus on rural Ireland initiatives

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New Galway East TD Sean Canney with his wife Gearldine.

A concession on turf cutting, an examination of the decision to close rural Garda stations and post offices – as well as flood alleviation – are all on the shopping list for at least two of Galway’s independent TDs before any agreement to support a new Government.

Both Michael Fitzmaurice from Glinsk and Sean Canney from Tuam have been in discussions with the main parties since the general election with a view to securing their support.

They are part of the six-strong Independent Alliance which also includes Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Shane Ross – but top of their list concerns they have regarding rural Ireland.

It is understood that part of any deal would see some concession on the whole turf cutting controversy, while the issue of the closure of rural Garda Stations and rural post offices are also high on the agenda.

Deputy Canney said that so too was the recent flooding crisis and added that many farmers and individual householders were still suffering.

The Independent Alliance will hold further discussions with the parties and Deputy Canney emphasised that they were not demanding ministerial positions but just a better deal for rural Ireland.

They are demanding, however, that there will be a full Minister for Rural Affairs appointed once the new government is formed.

Deputy Canney added that it was being suggested that a TD in each constituency would report back to this department.

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