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Connacht Tribune

Voting pact in jeopardy after bitter row on Údarás job

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The mayoral and voting pact, which brought the Civil War parties together on Galway County Council, was on the brink of collapse this week over a State board appointment.

During a dramatic day at County Hall, untold damage was done to the trust between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councillors as they traded insults and veiled threats during a tetchy discussion on the appointment of a board member to Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Exchanges became heated in particular between Fine Gael party whip, Jimmy McClearn, and Seamus Walsh, the Fianna Fáil nomination for the position.

Though two Fine Gael Councillors – McClearn and Tom McHugh – voted against Cllr Walsh; and two – Niamh Byrne and Frank Kearney – abstained, the Oughterard man prevailed in a vote, beating Independent Seósamh Ó Cualáin by 24 votes to nine.

However, the win may come at a cost.

As well as causing a rift between the two main ruling parties, who are involved in a voting arrangement, the appointment also stirred friction within Fianna Fáil.

The party’s twelve councillors were late returning from lunch and missed an important vote on the Local Property Tax – when they did return, Martina Kinnane intimated that they had been discussing the appointment of one of their members to the Gaeltacht body.

Prior to returning to the Council Chamber, Fianna Fáil members convened in a side room to thrash out who their nomination would be. Passersby on the corridor outside could hear heated exchanges between them.

Fianna Fáil whip on the Council, Mary Hoade, during an adjournment of the meeting, was involved in a raised-voice discussion inside the chamber with Cllr Walsh, who sits beside her.

Before the item was discussed, Cathaoirleach Eileen Mannion (FG), called for a brief adjournment but this was resisted by Cllr Walsh. He said there wasn’t a need for an adjournment. “I can’t go out and renege on an agreement . . . I gave my word to people . . . I wouldn’t stab them in the back,” said Cllr Walsh.

At this stage Cllr McClearn accused Fianna Fáil of arrogance, but Donagh Killilea (FF) countered: “You’re the one who is arrogant.”

When they resumed after five minutes, Tomás Ó Curraoin and Jim Cuddy (Ind) proposed Cllr Ó Cualáin for the position, Fianna Fáil nominated Seamus Walsh, and in a surprise move Fine Gael nominated a second Fianna Fáil man, Seán Ó Tuairisg.

All three initially agreed to allow their names to go forward, but just before the vote, Cllr Ó Tuairisg crossed the chamber, walked over to Cllr McClearn, and whispered into his ear. When he resumed his seat, he said: “I suppose I have to go with the party. I withdraw. I reluctantly withdraw.”

Tensions rose just before the vote as McClearn and Walsh exchanged barbs.

Cllr McClearn said his party “will not be a doormat for anybody”, and he referred to the agreement FG and FF had for the past three years.

Cllr Walsh countered: “Do you want me to tell them what I know? I’m the one who promised you no banana skins . . . Wasn’t I in Tuam last night with you? . . . Would I have driven to Tuam from Oughterard? . . . I promised you no bananas. I kept my word. I didn’t put out any bananas.”

Cllr McClearn said, “I told you in Tuam I couldn’t make any commitment” and Cllr Walsh replied: “There’ll be again in it” and “it’s a long road”. Pointing at the Fine Gael Cllrs he added: “Will ye wake up now”.

Cllr McClearn said if Walsh loses the vote, “it’s your own fault”.

There was a roll-call vote, and when Cllr Ó Tuairisg was asked to choose between his party colleague and Ó Cualáin, he said: “It’s a hard one . . . I suppose I have to go for what the party said.” After hesitating, he voted for Walsh.

Speaking as Gaeilge after being elected by 24 votes to nine, with two abstentions, Cllr Walsh thanked the members who voted for him. His name will now go forward as the Council nominee for the Údarás, to be ratified by the Gaeltacht Minister.

Country Living

A day when Tuam Races put paid to the innocence of a young punter

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The date was Friday, July 31, 1970, and the race was the Carling Black Label Maiden Plate with Lucky in Love, ridden by P. Sullivan just edging it from None Better with M. Kennedy on the saddle. The Tuam Races drew large crowds for their one big day of the year before the reins were pulled in 1973. Photo researched by Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I couldn’t even remotely claim to have any knowledge of the gee-gees although here and there I’d have the odd little flutter on a horse, and of late, Pateen has been kind enough to me with a couple of good wins across the water. Pateen of course is called after Galway three-in-a-row start, Pat or ‘Pateen’ Donellan, with his original owner, the late Michael Corcoran of solid Dunmore stock.

My childhood memory of horses probably relates to that of many people of a certain generation where the horse – and indeed the donkey as well – were the mainstays of farming life and especially for ageing farmers who just had no interest whatsoever in the purchase of a second-hand or a rebuilt Massey Ferguson. (Ruanes of Athenry were the great specialists of the time in rebuilt Masseys).

We owned the most imperious of a black gelding, his only concession to colour contrast being a white face, and whose pulling power was lauded across the village. But he was never an animal to be taken for granted and especially during the later summer season when the quills or horse flies could provoke him into a sudden and sometimes violent enough tantrum. Only my father could handle him with a mixture of firmness and platitudes but our equine warrior still managed to overturn a load or two of oats or hay when negotiating dodgy gaps that bit too impatiently.

His ageing demise and subsequent sale coincided with my journey into teenage years and that loss of childhood innocence when the realisation strikes that life is transient, made all the more poignant by the fact that it coincided with the gradual decline of my father as he slipped into the 70s and the sunset years of life.

The Galway Races though were always special even if we didn’t venture into Ballybrit that much as a family, as invariably there was always hay to be saved, although a ‘concession’ would often be made in terms of calling into a neighbour’s house with a television to watch The Hurdle or The Plate.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Cool the jets – let’s give Galway sideline supremos a fair hearing

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Mayo's Aidan O'Shea feels the strain against Galway's Cathal Sweeney and Seán Mulkerrin during Sunday's Connacht Football Final at Croke Park. Photo: Ray McManus /Sportsfile.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

IN all my years (more like decades) involved in hurling, I have never seen a team play the game at a faster pace than what Waterford did for 55 minutes in Thurles last Saturday. They were like Olympic sprinters and Galway simply couldn’t keep up with them in the open expanses of Semple Stadium.

Galway hurlers have often plumbed the depths when least expected, but trailing by 16 points after three quarters of Saturday’s knock-out clash was a total shock to the system. We know the Tribesmen have a terrible record against Waterford, but this was embarrassing and unacceptable for a team which had been touted as Limerick’s chief threat.

Though Galway are understandably getting some credit for their grandstand finish, it’s only papering over the cracks and, let’s be honest, there would probably have been no comeback at all only for Waterford being reduced to 14 players for the entire second-half. And then having whittled the deficit down from 16 points to three and all the momentum behind them with over six minutes still left to be played, they were found wanting again.

After substitute Jason Flynn’s first goal, there were five more scores and Waterford got four of them. That alone tells you that Liam Cahill’s men had more of what it takes to succeed at this level. Waterford were in disarray but somehow were able to find the inspiration to get over the line.

Meeting Galway supporters before the game, we shared the same concerns about the men in maroon jerseys. Eyebrows were raised by the team chosen and some of the positions players were picked in. Having failed to raise much of a gallop against Dublin, Galway should have been straining at the leash to achieve some redemption. Instead, they were worse; swept aside by a ravenous Waterford team which had everything their opponents didn’t

Though leaving Daithí Burke at centre-back didn’t cost Galway the game, it was still stubborn of the team management to stick to their guns when his zealous patrolling of the square continued to be so blatantly missed. Keeping faith with the unrelated Cooneys’, Joseph and Conor, also attracted criticism.

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.

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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.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Evoke broaden their sound to fuse Motown with folk!

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Evoke...new single from Loughrea four-piece.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Almost a year on from the release of their debut EP, Loughrea four-piece Evoke are back, with their fourth studio single Sorry than Safe. And the track sees the group push themselves in its arrangement and production – experimenting with Motown-style rhythm and soul, while retaining the folk sensibilities that run through their extended catalogue.

It was August of last year when the Revelations EP came to life and progress has naturally stalled through multiple lockdowns.

Having found themselves in need of work to replace the income lost during the national pause on live music, the band has been busy in the intervening eleven months – but not quite in the circumstances they had hoped to be. Sorry than Safe has been in the pipeline since that EP’s conception so realising the song as a finished article now feels like a big moment.

“We’d just come off the release of the EP and we went down and recorded this song and another one off the cuff,” recalls lead singer Keagan Forde.

“It was a tough song to blend with everything we wanted. The banjo is at the root of our sound all the time and it’s something we really wanted to keep in but with this, it was really difficult to blend the banjo into such a dense mix. The drums are really thick, the bass is really thick, there are layers of organs and vocals and guitars… layers upon layers of everything and trying to arrange the banjo and get it to sit in nicely caused a few headaches.

“It was tough to navigate staying true to our own sound and what we’re able to replicate live but making the most of the production and throwing ourselves into that. It’s our most complicated song if that makes sense. For two and a half minutes, there’s a lot going on.”

Given the time the band spent toiling over the single, it is no surprise to hear Keagan emphasise the importance of the production on Sorry than Safe. The song feels like a marked studio upgrade, and it seems to have required plenty of planning. Having orchestrated the EP in the leadup to the recording of the song, the group benefitted heavily from its increasing recording experience.

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.

 

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