All politics is local
All politics is local, and it’s at the local level the dirtiest games are played. Rivalries are intense and personal, grudges go back centuries, and party divisions becom fractures when they’re compounded by individual histories.
This year’s local elections will be different from past contests for many reasons, only some of which will be unique to Galway,
One of these reasons is the much-sung demise of the PDs, which has seriously dented the Government parties’ hold on Galway City and County. Within the city, the expected warring between former PDs and their council colleagues over party places hasn’t materialised, but six months is an eternity in politics, and anything is possible.
However, the county councillors have not taken the PDs’ demise so sanguinely, and both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been eager to claim the likes of Jim Cuddy, Tom Welby, Michael ‘Mogie’ Maher and even PD leader Ciaran Cannon, whose perceived role in the party’s demise may not have tainted him forever.
Of course, referring to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael doesn’t mean the parties’ various representatives here on earth. It usually means head office. And while head office will be only delighted to add sitting, “safe” councillors to the bill, the party’s current crop may not be throwing out the welcome mat.
Already, councillors nationwide have had PD refugees foisted on them, but in Co. Galway a row appears to be brewing with the likely addition of Mogie Maher to the Fine Gael ticket in Loughrea.
Reports indicate Maher has had serious discussions with the Fine Gael hierarchy, but noises emanating from the camps of sitting FG councillors aren’t too welcoming.
Co-opted after Ciaran Cannon’s appointment to the Seanad in 2007, Maher hasn’t earned his stripes yet and, to be fair, hasn’t been in situ long enough to have made a real mark.