Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Political World

Tweet finally reveals Fine Gael’s worst kept secret

Published

on

John O'Mahony....battle for Galway seat.

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

Delighted to be at Fine Gael Galway West/South Mayo constituency AGM,” tweeted John O’Mahony on Monday night before thanking the other three national parliamentarians in the constituency – Sean Kyne, Brian Walsh and Hildegarde Naughton for the ‘great welcome’.

In the background we could hear the banjo music from Deliverance being played – and maybe that welcome from the two incumbent TDs and one senator was gritted teeth rather than a beaming smile.

In any instance after almost two years of deliberation and will he won’t he, O’Mahony has done the inevitable and switched constituency.

Indeed the writing has been on the wall for this move since the boundaries were redrawn and a swathe of South Mayo – and 10,000 votes – moved south to Galway West. Among the areas affected were Ballinrobe, the Neale, Garrymore, and Cong.

If O’Mahony had stayed in Mayo he would have had an uphill struggle, to put it mildly. Of the four Fine Gael candidates he had the least amount of first preference votes and took the last of the five seats.

Mayo is being reduced to a four-seater and the two strongest Fine Gael candidates are – obviously – Taoiseach Enda Kenny and that formidable vote machine Michael Ring.

Because of the new gender balance rules, it was always likely that Michelle Mulherin would get the nod over O’Mahony if a three candidate strategy was being pursued.

If you look at the other three, all are based in big towns geographically spread; Kenny is based in Castlebar, Ring is in Westport and Mulherin is in Ballina.

O’Mahony inherited the Jim Higgins territory of East and South Mayo. He lives in Ballaghdereen on the border with Roscommon and none of the towns in that area are huge: Charlestown, Ballinrobe, Shrule and Ballyhaunis.

Indeed, when Fianna Fáil lost out there, it was the candidate in that area – the late John Carthy – who lost out.

Even with three candidates, I doubt if Fine Gael can win more than two seats in Mayo.

O’Mahony was never happy about the change. Why would he be? In that Dáíl speech in 2013, he complained that as the Constituency Commission had ignored the guideline to respect county borders.

“The outcome in the case of the new Galway West constituency is anything but the sharing of a contiguous border. I have tremendous respect for people in both Mayo and Galway, as many will know, but in the case of all counties in Connacht borders have been either breached or additional territory has been added. For political reform to be effective, it must be streamlined…

“If a constituent needs assistance in dealing with an issue to do with road resurfacing or pot holes, the local councillor will deal with the problem.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

 

Connacht Tribune

Áras an Uachtaráin and the constitutional ties that bind

Published

on

Making headlines... President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina during their visit to the Galway 1916 Exhibition in the former Connacht Tribune Print Works on Market Street.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Those who become President of Ireland are, metaphorically, provided with a silken gag; for the seven years they reside in Áras an Uachtaráin, they are supposed to keep their opinions and personal political persuasions to themselves.

The relevant Article in the Constitution sets out this rule: “No power or function conferred on the President by law shall be exercisable or performable by him save only on the advice of the Government.”

The President is not allowed to leave the State without first receiving the advice (i.e. the permission) of the Government. Theoretically, every speech they make needs to be run by the government first.

The President is said to be “above politics”. That meant they are not subject to any criticism from parliament or from the government. The other side of the coin is that it is expected the President will not wander into the political forum.

For most of the time since the office of the President was established in 1937, these rules have caused no major problems. With one exception.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
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.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Trimble leaves a legacy of peace to be proud of

Published

on

David Trimble...lasting legacy.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

The death of David Trimble brought back memories of the time he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize almost a quarter of a century ago, along with John Hume, for their efforts in securing the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

It could be argued that others should have been also on the plane to Oslo that winter, namely Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair.

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness also played an important role by steering the hard men of the IRA on a path that saw them end their campaign of violence and accept a political solution achieved by solely democratic means.

Of course, it would have been a blatant contradiction to award a peace prize to Adams and McGuinness given their instrumental roles in a republican movement that prosecuted a ruthless armed strategy for almost 30 years right up to that time. The Damascene conversion in 1998 did not erase what had gone before.

Certainly, Hume and those around him from the SDLP – particularly Séamus Mallon – deserved all the praise they got for their selfless pursuit of a political pathway and their brave eschewal of all forms of violence as they grappled with the unique set of circumstances of Northern Ireland.

That said, Trimble showed a huge degree of personal courage and resilience in facing down his critics and enemies – and there were many loud and bitter voices condemning him on the unionist side – and persevering with the talks that culminated with the historic agreement in Hillsborough Castle on that Good Friday in early April in 1998.

But it would have been unimaginable for him to be in that position three years before hand or even three years afterwards when the UUP began imploding around him. The important thing was that he stayed the course during that crucial period.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Heat is on for action over climate change

Published

on

Red hot...temperatures soared across Europe this week.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

The hottest day I remember in my life was when we went on holiday to Crete over 20 years ago. The temperature was in the forties and you could hardly move in the heat.

My stand-out memory is of my wife Fiona buying an ice cream cone for me in a town called Chania. It melted all over her hands during the 30 or so steps it took to get to me.

This week, Ireland recorded its hottest day in the 20th or 21st century when the Phoenix Park in Dublin hit 33 degrees Celsius. It’s not the highest on record though; that dates all the way back to 1887 – 33.3 Celsius at Kilkenny Castle.

Every time we have an extreme weather event, someone is inevitably going to pop up and say: “That’s global warming.”

It is and it isn’t. It isn’t because the temperature in Kilkenny Castle during the 19th Century reminds us that we have always go extremes of hot and cold, of rain, of wind, of storms.

However, it is the patterns and the more frequent recurrence of such events that illustrate that climate change is happening and the planet is heating. It’s one degree warmer now than it was in preindustrial times. If the mercury continues to rise, the planet is going to be in deep trouble.

As Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack said this week: “Unfortunately, climate change is here. When we get the air masses coming up from Europe, we too will experience some extreme weather and extreme weather events.”

This particular heatwave for us is the tail of the comet. The comet itself is Europe which has been in full heatwave mode for a few weeks, as has much of the Northern hemisphere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
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.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending