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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Fine Gael select Hopkins


Some grassroot dissent over one-candidate directive


The Fine Gael Selection Convention for Roscommon/Galway constituency went as expected: HQ insisted on just one candidate being selected, Senator Maura Hopkins was the chosen one…and at least some of the grassroots were left fuming.

  The event, held in Gleeson’s in Roscommon last Friday night, featured strong criticism of Fine Gael party HQ. Long-time party member Cyril McDermott put it bluntly, accused HQ of treating grassroots “like a shower of fools”, and advising that party chiefs needed “a kick up the backside”.

  Galway councillor Michael Finnerty, who withdrew his name on the night, said that the party’s National Executive was treating members like “mugs”. He predicted that he will be added to the ticket later in the year.

  Deputy Peter Burke, who chaired proceedings, said that the party reserved the right to add a second candidate in due course, but many members present saw this approach as a denial of democracy.

  Senator Hopkins, selected unopposed on the night, said whether or not a second candidate is added is a decision for the National Executive of the party.

  In a press statement issued earlier this week, Senator Hopkins said that what motivates her most is the opportunity to work hard to have a positive impact on people’s lives. 

  “The job of a politician is to work for people, work with people…and this has been my focus each and every day over the past five years. Whether it be working on the issue of the families of children who have been let down by HSE audiology services in the West, working to secure increased supports to assist beef and suckler farmers, working for improved home help services, working for further investment in this constituency, these and many other issues are what motivate me every single day in my job”.



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Kerrane welcomes clearer rules for Gardaí at evictions



Sinn Féin spokesperson for Roscommon/Galway Claire Kerrane has welcomed “clearer rules” being drawn up by the Garda Commissioner for Gardaí who attend the scene of an eviction.

  Having written to the Garda Commissioner last month to request clarification as to the role of Gardaí at evictions, Ms. Kerrane said: “I understand that Garda management in Roscommon had requested a clear policy on the role of Gardaí at evictions and for this to be published and made available to the public. 

  “This is a really important development. The role of the Gardaí at evictions needs to be crystal clear to both Gardaí at the scene and the public.

  “I am awaiting a full response from the Assistant Commissioner who is responsible for policing in Roscommon following my correspondence to the Garda Commissioner being forwarded to her for reply.

  “I am also awaiting an update as to whether a live investigation is underway into events at the eviction at Falsk, Strokestown on December 11th last”.


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‘Surface water on N60 could cause fatal accident’



Fianna Fáil local election candidate Marty McDermott, right, has said it’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious accident on the N60 near Oran GAA Club at Rockfield due to the regular build-up of surface water in the area.

  “I have been contacted by several people in the parish of Oran in relation to this issue. They feel that it’s only a matter of time before there’s a fatal accident on this stretch of road due to the surface water which gathers there after heavy rain.

  “Driving on this road in daytime is one thing but there is a danger that the surface water won’t be seen by drivers at night. I believe it would take one day’s work to resolve this issue and prevent a tragedy,” he said.

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‘Monksland to benefit from cooperation on development of Athlone’



Cllr. Laurence Fallon has welcomed the clarification from Minister John Paul Phelan that he is to introduce a law which would copper-fasten the boundary of County Roscommon and ensure a structure is put in place for the development of the greater Athlone area, including Monksland.

  The new structure will include council representatives from both Roscommon and Westmeath as well as the Cathaoirleach of both councils and will ensure cooperation on both sides of the county boundary on the development of Athlone as a city.

  “Athlone is a designated growth centre and this is another step in ensuring that the people of south Roscommon can rest assured that their county will remain intact into the future,” stated Cllr. Fallon.

  “I welcome the effort by a large number of people to get to this point, especially Deputy Denis Naughten, who has worked on the issue over the last number of years. I would also like to thank Minister Phelan, who I met on a number of occasions on this issue, for his ongoing commitment to the development of Athlone”.

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