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Connacht Tribune

Three issues for Government – and election isn’t one of them!

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Maurice McCabe...back on centre stage

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

Monday was spent traipsing around Dublin and Kildare asking political leaders questions about three issues – two of them the recurring themes of Brexit and the confidence and supply agreement. And the third is the controversy du jour, the fall-out from the Charleton Tribunal – and, in part, the political hue and cry that essentially forced Frances Fitzgerald to take one for the team, and resign as Tánaiste and Minister for Justice last November.

But to get there you have to go back – to the first real formal investigation of whistleblower Maurice McCabe’s and the O’Higgins Commission which sat during 2015.

By that stage, officially, McCabe had been transformed from a persona non grata within the Garda to a person held in the highest esteem. Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan even said that – but O’Sullivan also had a quandary.

McCabe was a driven man. Over the years he amassed impressive dossier of Garda malpractice and incompetence. A lot of it was relatively minor (pointing to lazy guards) but some of it was major, including the failure to pursue protocols in relation to a dangerous man who went on to murder a woman in Limerick.

O’Sullivan accepted McCabe’s bona fides. But at the same time, he had made some serious allegations against senior Gardaí, who denied them. And as commissioner, she was also responsible for defending them.

It all revolved around the strategy that was adopted at the O’Higgins Commission. What was needed was to treat McCabe with soft gloves while protecting the reputation of her senior officers. It was kind of unworkable.

In any instance, McCabe was subjected to tough assertive questioning, with O’Sullivan’s barrister telling the Commission his instructions were to question not only his motivations but his credibility.

There was no doubt that the approach was not the right one. But somehow the leaks from the Tribunal, as Judge Charleton said, ‘transmogrified’ that approach into a horse of a different colour – a malicious campaign to down McCabe’s character by raking through the coals of that 2007 conviction.

The media got selective and one-side leaks and ran with them. O’Sullivan came under pressure for being two-faced – defending McCabe in public while seeking to destroy him in private. Of course, there was no strong basis for that, but nobody was in a position to contradict it, until Charleton.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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