Petition is successful with 1,550 signatures
To: Galway City Council
We don't want Noel Larkin as mayor of Galway
After a campaign of public pressure led by People Before Profit, the ruling pact on Galway City Council did not to elect Cllr Noel Larkin as mayor today.
More than 1,500 people signed a petition rejecting Larkin and there was a well attended protest held outside the city council AGM this afternoon where councillors chose the new mayor.
The people of Galway have stood up against Cllr Larkin's hate-filled divisive rhetoric. While we welcome their decision, we won't be giving too many claps on the back to the Green Party, Labour, Social Democrats and independent councillors. They have done the bare minimum - not electing someone who uses racist and classist rhetoric to stir up hatred of opppressed groups of people. And they have done so only after a sustained campaign of public pressure.
The councillors on the pact tried to justify voting for Larkin by saying the pact limits the influence of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on council committees and budgets. We have proved that it was possible all along for them to exclude FF and FG without making Larkin mayor - if the political will is there.
The opposition to Cllr Larkin on this occasion also does not erase the systemic issue of anti-Traveller racism within Galway City Council. For example, in 2019, Galway City Council was one of only three councils (along with Mayo and Laois) who did not even apply for Traveller accomodation funding. This is a disgraceful reflection on our political representatives, and further compounds the discriminatory treatment of the Travelling community which has led to more than 1,000 Traveller families living in unsafe, insecure or overcrowded conditions.