Galway City Central is not a foregone conclusion

This week, Insider is going to take a look at the number of first preference votes received in 2004 by candidates in the old West Ward and potentially what the outcome may be in the new Galway City Central ward in June for the sitting councillors, repeat candidates, and new candidates.

Firstly, from an electorate of 11,500, Insider believes that 55 per cent will turn out to vote. If this is the case, 6,325 people will be deciding who will represent them in City Hall.

Insider believes that in the current climate and with the public perception being that we have had enough of the parties, we could see one of the Independents, namely Mike Geraghty or Mike Cubbard, take a seat as they are well known in their respective areas.

From the sitting councillors, Insider can only see Labour Cllr Billy Cameron as a certainty as his 711 first preferences from 2004 will grow to 800+. After that, the Fine Gael Mayor of Galway Cllr Padraig Connelly will do well to hold onto his 620 votes.

His outspoken views are one thing but his arrogance and manner leave a lot to be desired. Insider can see through the smoke screen and can see the real Connelly and believes the people have too. After all, the majority of abandoned meetings are as a result of him.

Labour Cllr Colette Connolly is the only one who is virtually guaranteed not to be returned. Her attitude - like that of her sister - in the chamber should not be accepted. Insider believes her vote will drop to the 400 mark.

Fianna Fáil Cllr John Connolly has been the quietest of all four since his election. Insider has identified him and Cllr Colette Connolly as two in particular who have not delivered throughout their term and are destined to struggle.

This leaves the question, how will Sinn Féin’s Mike Joyce, Independents Mike Geraghty and Mike Cubbard, Fianna Fáil’s Ollie Crowe, and the Green Mairead Ní Croinin fair?

From 2004, Ann Marie Carroll (738 ), Martin Quinn (611 ), Aoibheann McCann (386 ), and Paul Osikoya (149 ) will not be contesting, leaving 1,884 first preference votes up for grabs, before the others losses and the increase in turnout come into play.

Mrs Carroll, like Mr Cubbard was the only local candidate from Westside in 2004. Will her 700+ transfer to Mr Cubbard or is it a Sinn Fein vote Mr Joyce will target?

What will become of Martin Quinn’s 600+ votes? If Mr Quinn decides against running Independent, Insider believes he will do his best to ensure Fianna Fáil does not get his supporters onside. Will they go to any of the Government candidates such as Ms Ní Croinin, Mr Crowe, or Cllr Connolly or will they decide to back the Independents as opposed to going Left?

Insider believes the majority of both Ms McCann and Mr Osikoya’s votes will sway in the direction of Ms Ní Croinin although Insider does not see her taking a seat due to her being a relative unknown in big areas such as Newcastle, Westside, Bohermore, Shantalla, and Woodquay.

Mr Joyce is running as a Sinn Fein candidate and Insider cannot see Sinn Fein taking a seat in this ward. The fact that Mr Joyce will be eating from the same pie in Newcastle as known names like Cllr Cameron and Mr Geraghty, will make it too tough for Sinn Fein to take a seat in Galway City Central.

With Fianna Fáil now opting for Mr Crowe as its candidate, will the people decide to vote in his direction? The question Insider poses to Mr Crowe is, people trusted Cllr Michael J Crowe and voted him in as an Independent before he went and joined Fianna Fáil. How can they now place trust in a Crowe again, regardless of his colours?

Insider believes the battle has well and truly begun and sees a very open field in Galway City Central with Cllr Cameron topping the poll, and Mayor Connelly, Cllr John Connolly, Cllr Colette Connolly, Ollie Crowe, Mike Cubbard, and Mike Geraghty all jostling for position as the results of the first count are announced.


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