Brian Walsh (politician)

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Brian Walsh
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2011 – February 2016
ConstituencyGalway West
Mayor of Galway
In office
11 July 2006 – 12 July 2007
Preceded byCatherine Connolly
Succeeded byNiall Ó Brolcháin
Personal details
Born (1972-09-28) 28 September 1972 (age 46)
Galway, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Fiona Flatley (m. 2005)
Children2
Alma materGalway-Mayo Institute of Technology

Brian Walsh (born 28 September 1972) is a former Irish Fine Gael politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency from 2011 to 2016. He also served as Mayor of Galway from 2006 to 2007.[1]

He sat for a time as an Independent TD, having lost the Fine Gael parliamentary party whip, from July 2013 to April 2014.[2]

Local politics[edit]

He was elected to Galway City Council in 2004 and re-elected in 2009.[3] He was the Mayor of Galway from 2005 to 2006 and was the city's youngest ever mayor.[4]

Redevelopment work on Eyre Square in Galway began in 2004.[5] There was controversy when the building contractors, Samuel Kingston Construction, left the site and did not return. Some businesses were affected by the abandoned building site which had become an embarrassment to the city.[6] On becoming Mayor of Galway, Walsh set up a task force to take charge of the project, and he led the effort to complete the works. The square re-opened on 13 April 2006.

2011 general election[edit]

In December 2010 Walsh was selected by Fine Gael to contest the next general election in Galway West. The then Fine Gael deputy Pádraic McCormack subsequently announced his retirement after not being selected at the party convention. Senator Fidelma Healy Eames was also selected by the party to contest the election. Councillors Seán Kyne and Hildegarde Naughton were subsequently added to the ticket as the party adopted an offensive electoral strategy in the constituency.

Expulsion from parliamentary party[edit]

Walsh was expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party on 2 July 2013 when he defied the party whip by voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.[2][7] He was re-admitted to the parliamentary party on 30 April 2014.[8]

He did not contest the 2016 general election.[9] He resigned as a TD on 14 January 2016, due to health concerns.[10]

Controversies Post Resignation[edit]

1. On 28 February 2016, The Irish Sunday Times ran an article stating that Brian Walsh has applied for a medical pension to the Oireachtas Pension Scheme on 16 December 2015, weeks prior to his resignation the following month.[11] The Irish Sunday Times stated that the pension was requested on "grounds of ill health" and could be worth €500,000 if granted.

2. On 6 March 2016, The Irish Sunday Times ran an article stating that Brian Walsh had directly lobbied NAMA in respect of the sale of lands by NAMA which were subsequently sold to a business partner of Brian Walsh.[12]

3. 2. On 13 March 2016, The Irish Sunday Times ran an article stating that Brian Walsh had lobbied NAMA from 2012 to 2014 on half of a long term property developer associate who owned a Hotel in Galway, and who owed NAMA over €100m.[13]

On 13 March 2016, Brian Walsh indicated to Galway Media Outlets his intention to sue the Sunday Times[14] and that "he's absolutely confident that his good name will be vindicated". However, no such proceedings were ever taken.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Brian Walsh". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Abortion law moves one step closer". Irish Independent. 2 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Brian Walsh". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Mayors of Galway City". Galway City Council. Archived from the original on 19 November 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Eyre Square Enhancement Project". Galway City Council. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  6. ^ "More difficulty for Eyre Square redevelopment". RTÉ News. 27 June 2005.
  7. ^ "Fine Gael expels four TDs for voting against abortion Bill". The Irish Times. 3 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Walsh readmitted to Fine Gael after losing whip". RTÉ News. 30 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh will not contest the next election". The Irish Times. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh resigns from Dáil over health concerns". Irish Examiner. 15 January 2015.
  11. ^ Tighe, Mark (28 February 2016). "Walsh vowed to forgo TD pension". The Sunday Times.
  12. ^ Tighe, Mark (6 March 2016). "TD lobbied Nama on partner's deal". The Sunday Times.
  13. ^ Tighe, Mark (13 March 2016). "TD lobbied Nama to help business pal". The Sunday Times.
  14. ^ "Former Galway TD to take legal action against a Sunday newspaper". Galway Bay FM. 13 March 2016.
Oireachtas
Preceded by
Pádraic McCormack
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Galway West
20112016
Succeeded by
Hildegarde Naughton
(Fine Gael)
Civic offices
Preceded by
Catherine Connolly
Mayor of Galway
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Niall Ó Brolcháin