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Bradley Bytes

Working women of ‘knockin shop’ helping Nolan to rise!

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Billy Cameron finds more drama on the campaign trail than he did on the set of soap Coronation Street.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Comrade Billy Cameron, the Labour Party veteran, has soldiered through many election campaigns. The elder statesman on Galway City Council has been on so many campaign trails, he thought he’d seen it all. Until this week.

The bould Billy was out canvassing door-to-door for the party’s under-pressure TD, Derek Nolan.  The team were leaflet-dropping and knocking on doors in a residential area in the city centre when, he says, he stumbled upon a brothel.

“I had my hand on the knocker,” he says. “I mean buzzer.”

Comrade Cameron says that just before he pressed the door-bell, the front-door opened. “A punter was leaving. He was being escorted, pardon the pun, to the door by the hooker,” he says, blushing.

The man, in his 50s, went bright red and “scampered off down the road with his tail between his legs”. The woman, a pretty tanned brunette in her 20s, remained calm, he recalls.

“It was obvious what was after happening but I asked her if she had a vote . . . She took the leaflet and said she’d consider Derek,” he says.

Billy also points out that there was plenty of ‘action’ at one of the neighbours’ homes, too. “There’s a scatter of kids next door. It was a knockin’ shop itself – a legitimate one!”

Crime on the canvass

There was drama too on the doorsteps on the east side of the Galway West constituency when canvassers for Independent TD, Noel Grealish, leaflet-dropped in Claregalway and Cregboy.

At one door, a canvasser for a rival candidate took Grealish’s leaflets out of a letterbox and wrote “derogatory comments” about him and the homeowner.

Grealish is a big boy and can take it. But the homeowner found it quite distressing. All is not lost, however.

CCTV cameras outside the house clearly captured the identity of the person involved. “The Gardaí and the party’s national and local director of elections are being informed about the incident,” says Grealish.

Dirty tricks

More dirty tricks, this time in Westside.

Independent councillor, Mike Cubbard, claims a number of his posters were taken down off lampposts and dumped.

Cubbard wasn’t pointing fingers at who he suspects the culprit is. But he did moan on social media that his posters had been replaced by those of Labour’s Derek Nolan.

It forced butter-wouldn’t-melt Derek to deny the non-accusation accusation, which is a bit like responding to the question: ‘When did you stop beating your wife?’

Nolan said: “I have not and my team have not taken down any other candidates’ posters.”

A canvasser for Fianna Fáil, a party not averse to dirty tricks, had a theory: “His own lads could have taken them down – for sympathy.” Maybe we’ll never know.

Meanwhile, Cubbard’s posters aren’t the only things being targeted. Apparently, his ‘good name’ as a law-breaking, non-payer of water charges, is being tarnished, too.

“It’s a pity members of other parties are calling to people I grew up beside and telling blatant lies saying that I’ve paid Irish Water,” he sighed.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

New Year but same rules at ‘meetings about meetings’

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During an eight-hour Council meeting on City Development Plan on Friday, Cllr Eddie Hoare was in Bekan, co-commentating for Galway Bay FM on a senior FBD league football match between Galway and Roscommon.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

At 3.44pm, forty-four minutes into the first City Council meeting of 2022, councillors decided how they would meet for the remainder of January, including having at least three more meetings.

That it took three-quarters of an hour to get to a stage where they voted by a majority that meetings would be conducted online only, until they decide otherwise at another meeting, possibly in February, shouldn’t be all that surprising for anyone who follows these things at City Hall.

But still, even by Galway City Council standards, it was quite something.

The procedures committee met the previous Thursday but failed to agree unanimously that meetings would go online-only. Fianna Fáil, through its councillor on the committee, MJ Crowe, pushed for hybrid meetings, a blend of in-person and online. When agreement wasn’t reached, it went before a full Council to decide.

The first mistake at the Monday meeting, though, was that nobody thought to put it on the agenda.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) attempted to introduce the item. There had been no agreement at the procedures committee meeting but, because of the Omicron variant, meetings should move online, she said.

“I don’t see it on the agenda,” said Crowe. “It affects the meetings going forward – we have to deal with it,” replied Colette.

Ailish Rohan, meetings administrator, chimed in. “We’re in a pandemic . . .”

If it was that important, it should be on the agenda, countered MJ.

“It was agreed it would be on the agenda. It’s not on the agenda,” he said. Speaking to Ailish, MJ said it was “not up to you to decide what’s on the agenda”. There were rules governing meetings called standing orders, he said, and suggested people should familiarise themselves with those rules. Ouch.

Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said that the agenda for Monday’s meeting had been sent out on Wednesday, the day before the procedures committee met, so it could not have been put on the agenda.

Couldn’t the Council have sent out a supplementary agenda on Friday, after the procedures committee stalemate asked Mike, rhetorically.

Niall McNelis (Lab) wondered how it could now be put on the agenda; Donal Lyons (Ind) made a formal proposal to that effect. But this being the City Council, that proposal couldn’t just be taken, because you can’t change the agenda will-nilly.

The solution? Standing orders had to be suspended, as per the rulebook. How did nobody think of that beforehand?

Eventually they voted 17-0 to suspend standing orders. No such unanimity on the substantive issue of online meetings, though. FF and Declan McDonnell (Ind) argued for in-person to continue, the rest argued against, with a little help from Council staff. Too much help, according to Declan. “With all due respect,” he began. “The meetings administrator should not be coming in after every speaker!”

Ailish had the final say on this matter, though. She read out the roll-call vote on the proposal for online-only meetings – 12 for, five against.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Shinners plan to gobble up Cheesy Cheevers’ support

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Cllr Alan Cheevers: All smiles in 2019 after he won a seat for Fianna Fáil in the City’s East Ward. But Sinn Féin are snapping at his heels as they plan to regain the seat they lost in that ward that year.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Sinn Féin is targeting gains on Galway City Council at the next Local Election – and plans to take out sitting Councillor Alan Cheevers.

The Shinners are still reeling from the last Locals when three of their elected members lost seats.

And while losses for Cathal Ó Conchúir in City West and Mark Lohan in City Central weren’t unexpected, the unseating of ‘golden girl’ Mairéad Farrell in City East sent shockwaves through the organisation.

Of course it was the best thing that happened to Mairéad. She pretty much immediately bounced back and caused a shock in Galway West by taking a Dáil seat in the 2020 General Election. That revival took even Mairéad by surprise.

But the loss of a seat in City East still rankles. And SF sources said they are determined to regain it – and possibly add a second seat – when voters go to the polls again in the Locals in two-and-a-half years.

Social Democrats newcomer Owen Hanley, who caused a stir by taking a seat in this ward at the first time of asking in 2019, is an obvious target for the Shinners.

Firstly, though, they’ve set their sights on taking out Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers. He cultivated much of his support among African and East European immigrant communities in Doughiska, who had felt abandoned or ignored by the Establishment and political system.

Sinn Féin is said to have approached a number of potential candidates of African heritage who are based in Renmore and Doughiska, with a view to one of them becoming the first person of colour to be elected to City Hall.

That’s good news for diversity and democracy, but not necessarily happy days for Cheesy Cheevers, whose strong support among immigrant communities could migrate to any would-be Shinner candidate with first-hand experience of what immigrant communities want from their politicians.

Cheevers, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, told us he was unperturbed by the threat from a resurgent Sinn Féin and he remains focused on working hard, serving his constituents on the ground.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold feet for pedal power as King leads charge against cycle lane

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On your bike: Cllr Donal Lyons, the then Mayor of Galway, during the rollout of the city’s Coca-Cola Zero Bike Scheme in 2014. This September, he was alone in opposing a temporary cycle lane on the Salthill Prom when Councillors voted on the issue. But opinions have changed since then.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

If a vote were taken now on the Notice of Motion by Mayor of Galway, Colette Connolly, that called for a temporary cycle lane along the Salthill Prom, it would not pass. And if it did then it certainly would not pass by a majority of 17-1, as it did in September’s vote.

Only the King of Knocknacarra Donal Lyons (Ind) voted against then. But with the passage of time and the emergence of more details, more Councillors are getting cold feet.

If you heard some of them speak about the plans during the December Ordinary meeting of the Council, you’d be 100% positive that they’d voted against it initially.

City Councillors like Noel Larkin (Ind), Terry O’Flaherty (Ind), John Connolly (FF), Peter Keane (FF), and Declan McDonnell (Ind) – all in favour in September – were cycling in reverse. And fast.

Each of them raised concerns and used strong language in opposition to the plan, that would lead you to believe they would not have voted for it again at the pre-Christmas meeting.

Other supporters like Niall McNelis (Lab) and Eddie Hoare (FG) appeared lukewarm; their support had softened. Even Owen Hanley (Soc Dems), who would vote for it again, recognised problems in the plan to implement the motion.

Mike Cubbard (Ind), Colette Connolly (Ind), Martina O’Connor (Green), and Niall Murphy (Green), remain steadfast in favour of change. But even they recognise the combative tone of contributions from colleagues in opposition to the cycle way.

The motion that passed in September read: “That Galway City Council shall urgently seek to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of Salthill promenade, specifically the R336 from the junction with Grattan Road up to the junction of the Prom/Blackrock Tower and a one-way cycle track from the latter junction up to where the R336 meets with the R337, and shall immediately apply for Covid-19 funding or any available alternative source of funding to facilitate this.”

There was no clarity what implications it would have for two-way traffic, which will for one section at least, go one-way; and for public transport, which will have to re-route.

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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