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

CITY TRIBUNE

Uniting Ireland becomes a very real problem for Micheál Martin

Published

on

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: prefer to hear the views of the younger generation north and south on how we can 'share the island better'.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Last January – God it seems so long ago – then Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan came up with an idea that became a determining factor in the general election. He suggested a commemoration for those from the Royal Irish Constabulary who had died during that decade where the sovereignty of the State was established.

There was an argument for something to be done. These were after all Irish men (mostly Catholic in the South). But the problems were many. For one, they were serving the Crown. And the senior positions in the force were held by non-Catholics. And it hardly had an unblemished record as a force when it came to the fair administration of justice.

And, of course, the hated Black and Tans were officially part of the RIC.

So it was a sensitive issue, there was no doubt about it. Any move towards commemoration would need to be done very carefully, and involve a lot of debate, a lot of discussion and a huge amount of context. If it was going to happen, it could really only happen within a larger conference discussing these events, where the positives were acknowledged as well as all the negatives.

So Flanagan’s decision to go ahead – unilaterally – turned out to be a tinder box that set off an electoral conflagration. While it was a Fianna Fáil candidate (Cathal Crowe in Clare) who was the first to respond negatively in public to the idea, it was Sinn Féin which ran with it for the election campaign. I’ve never heard ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ played so many times outside of a Wolfe Tones concert.

Anyway, we know the impact it had on the election. We saw a dormant republicanism awaken in people, especially the young, that we had not seen before. We can take it that the vast majority of the many people who voted Sinn Féin were comfortable with the idea of a united Ireland. The Republic was more republican than we had suspected.

Fine Gael began describing itself officially as the ‘United Ireland Party’. Fianna Fáil emphasised its ‘constitutional’ republicanism, its commitment to the “peaceful reunification of the island of Ireland as a single political entity”. Labour spoke of a new all-island state in terms of it being best placed to deliver a good quality of life for all.

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

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.

 

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Six Shinners to contest Galway City local elections in 2024

Published

on

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Sinn Féin is planning to run two candidates in each city electoral ward in the next Local Elections in 2024.

Party number-crunchers nationally want to flood local election tickets with candidates to pick up extra seats and capitalise on anti-Government sentiment that is circulating among a cohort of voters.

The Shinners ran too few candidates in the last General Election. It meant they could not capitalise fully from a swing to the party during that campaign. They left seats behind them.

Now they’re planning to run a record number of candidates. In Galway, that would mean two candidates in each of the three areas, City West, City Central and City East.

The thinking is that they need to pick up additional seats in local authority elections, so that they have sufficient councillors to vote for Sinn Féin candidates in Seanad elections. More councillors equals more senators.

Sinn Féin is very much preparing for Government; and while the polls suggest it’s the most popular party (at 34% according to the latest in the Sunday Times last weekend) and would likely win most Dáil seats if an election was held tomorrow, it would still need numbers in the Seanad to pass legislation.

One problem faced by Sinn Féin is the party might find it difficult to source six credible candidates to contest local elections in Galway.

Another problem with running two, rather than one, in each ward in Galway City is that SF could split the vote and end up not winning any seats at all.

In 2019, Councillors Mairéad Farrell, Mark Lohan and Cathal Ó Conchúir all lost their seats after dismal local elections. Farrell was since elected to the Dáil following her Lazarus comeback but the organisation locally is still wary of a fickle Galway electorate.

If Sinn Féin doesn’t win back those three seats lost in 2019, then the next locals would be deemed a massive failure.

Winning more than three seats on Galway City Council would be a success but are the Shinners willing to risk running two candidates in each ward, splitting the vote and ending up with egg on their faces?

Photo: Mairéad Farrell with fellow Sinn Féin members Mark Lohan and Cathal Ó Conchúir (back left) after she was elected to the Dáil in 2020. All lost had their seats in Galway City Council in 2019 after dismal local elections.


This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the January 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.


Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway is seventh-worst city in Europe for car traffic congestion

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Car traffic congestion in Galway is quickly rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, with commuters spending up to 94 hours caught on the city’s gridlocked arteries last year.

According to data compiled by INRIX, a world-leader in mobility data, Galway is the seventh-worst city in Europe for congestion, an 84% increase on its position in 2021.

The data shows that Galway places in the worst 50 cities in the world for congestion – taking 39th place, with Dublin the only other Irish city placing higher at Number 12.

While the figures show that car traffic has not fully returned to pre-Covid levels, the 2022 figures came within 13% of 2019 congestion rates.

This was despite vast numbers continuing to work from home last year, a worrying trend according to the local People Before Profit representative Adrian Curran.

In Cork, Limerick and Dublin, there had been a more lasting effect, showing decreases of 20%, 26% and 29% respectively, he said.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the January 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway 2020 paid €110,000 for PR while cutting spends on arts events

Published

on

From this week’s City Tribune – Galway 2020’s bank account statements for five months of 2020 reveal thousands of euro were spent on public relations firms and media advertising when its cultural programme was being cut and ‘revised’ during the upheaval at the onset of Covid-19.

The AIB statements date from April to September of 2020, when Covid-19 had seriously curtailed cultural activities of Galway 2020, the company behind the city and county’s European Capital of Culture. They show more than €110,000 was paid to Dublin-based public relations firm Q4 PR, in three separate payments in April, May and June of 2020.

Thousands more were paid to other public relations firms, radio stations and, to a lesser extent, newspapers.

In March of that year, Galway 2020 announced it was reviewing its programme of events due to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by Government after a global pandemic was declared, curtailing all events.

On April 7, it confirmed it was laying off staff and had ended its agreement with Helen Marriage and Artichoke which was providing creative direction.

Later that month, it issued statements to say it was exploring a ‘re-imagined’ programme of events to take place at the end of 2020 and 2021.

Although the amounts paid to media and PR companies other than Q4 PR are relatively small, compared with expenditure on other headings, the payments suggest the importance Galway 2020 placed on image and public perception around that time.

The bank statements were released to the Galway City Tribune following a protracted Freedom of Information request and after an appeal to the Office of Information Commissioner.

Many of the payees in the bank statements were redacted but the names of several PR and media organisations are listed as having been paid by Galway 2020.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article with details of the spending, see the January 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. There is also coverage of this week’s rebranding and new vision of Galway 2020. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending