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Where did it all go wrong is what the Fine Gael party faithful will be trying to figure out over the next few weeks as they saw their seats in the county town drop from four to two over the weekend. One man who won’t be asking that question is Independent Cllr Michael Kilcoyne who topped the poll with an amazing 2,921 votes, a massive 1,210 first preference votes over the quota of 1,711. From not long after the boxes were opened and spilled across the counting tables in the Royal Theatre in Castlebar early on Saturday morning, there was never any doubt that Kilcoyne was going to top the poll, it was only a matter of by how much. When he was elected on the first count, he was the first councillor in Ireland elected in this year’s local elections, but he had to wait until the early hours of Tuesday morning for the official declaration of election after the recount of the Castlebar papers had been concluded. More on that below.
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.
Fine Gael looks set to continue its current dominance of Galway County Council, but Fianna Fáil and Independents are set to have a solid election and may even narrow the gap with the governing party.
"The strong political clout that we have in this county should be focused on providing the funding to acquire NAMA property in Castlebar for industrial production,” said Labour Party Castlebar town councillor and Mayo County Council candidate Harry Barrett.
Local Elections, like those coming up on May 23, are curious creatures. While they are undoubtedly local in the way that even a cursory glance at the different candidates election literature will immediately confirm – active in community initiatives, members of community councils, chairs of things like the Tidy Towns Committee, and, at least in the country, the GAA - local elections also have traditionally been seen, and used by voters, as a way of robustly telling the mainstream parties how they are seen from the groundlings point of view, and so providing either comfort or a harsh wake-up call, a two-fingered salute which is anything but comforting.
Labour Party Castlebar town councillor Harry Barrett has written to area engineers to assess the safety of the bridge leading to Parke village. Barrett maintains that the issue was a cause of concern raised by the community, on a recent canvass of the village.
In the closing weeks of the summer of 1913, there was intense activity at Coole Park, the heart of the Celtic Literary Revival. The considerable energies of both Lady Gregory and WB Yeats were fully committed to supporting Gregory’s nephew Hugh Lane, and his quest to establish a municipal gallery of modern art in Dublin.
Mayo has received an allocation of €320,000 for works on social housing that will see 31 social housing units in the county be renovated and brought up to standard.
Residents in Turlough have raised the issue of a playground for local children at a community meeting this week, according to Cllr Harry Barrett. The Labour party local election candidate said this week that he was contacted after the meeting to request that the council provide a playground for local children. The meeting was told that there are some 120 children under the age of 12 within a two mile radius of the village, and currently they have no public play facility.
John Mulholland and Keith Finnegan recently discussed the bookmaker’s odds for all the local election candidates across the city on Galway Bay FM.