In 1937 County Galway was divided into two constituencies for election purposes, and from then until 1977, when Galway West became a four-seater, this constituency always voted in two Fianna Fáil TDs and one Fine Gael. In 1977 we voted in Bobby Molloy, Bill Loughnane, and John Martin Mannion of Fine Gael.
In 1981 we became a five-seater. The election count was held for the only time in the Claddagh Hall. Bobby Molloy topped the poll with 7,487 first preferences, Mark Killilea had 6,338, Michael D Higgins had 6,226, John Donnellan polled 5,065, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn had 4,549. Others who ran in that election were Frank Fahey FF, Pádraic McCormack FG, Henry Comerford FG, Pol Ó Foighil FG, Nicholas O’Connor FF, James Brick SFWP, and Tony Coffey, non-party.
Bobby Molloy was elected first, followed by Michael D, then John Donnellan, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. and Mark Killilea.
Michael D became the first Labour Party TD in Galway since 1927.
Mickey Gorman gave us this photograph of his supporters, which was taken on that historic day in June 1981. In the centre are Michael D, his wife Sabina, and his daughter Alice Mary.
Also included are Patsy Lawless, ---- Kelleher, Eamonn Shevlin, Marion Stenson, Bernard Burke, ‘Motch’ Daly, John McDonagh, Seamus Gilroy, Pat Allen, Angela Duffy, John Cunningham, Pat O’Sullivan, Peter Kenny, John Lennon, Billy Glynn, Maria Geraghty, Kieran Dooley, Paddy Gannon, Chris Curtin, Emmett Farrell, Tom Dooley, Gerald Dawe, Tony Christofides, Pat Sheeran, Pádraic Ó Carra, Clare Curtin, Michael Conlon, and Mrs Michael Conlon.
Our thanks to Michael Gorman
for today’s photograph.