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1,000 hoteliers to boost tourism in Spring



Date Published: 20-Nov-2009

GALWAY’S tourism industry is to receive a major early season boost next year – from up to a 1,000 hoteliers who are set to converge on the city for a conference.

The Irish Hotels Federation’s 2010 Annual Conference and Showtel Trade Exhibition will take place in the Radisson Blu hotel on March 1 and 2.

This follows on the news that the Labour Party conference will bring up to 1,100 delegates to the city in April.

The IHF is encouraging its 1,000 members across the country to take part in the 2010 event and find out which of the latest services, products and trends can give them the edge over their competition.

Key decision makers from hotels and guesthouses across the country will be in attendance at the next year’s event, making the exhibition the essential platform for suppliers to the hospitality sector and allowing companies to showcase new and existing product and solutions to a targeted audience.

According to the IHF, key areas of focus for members in the current environment continue to be the delivery of the highest quality of service, exceeding customer expectations and providing memorable experiences for guests visiting Irish hotels and guesthouses.

“As domestic and international competition intensifies, Irish hotels and guesthouses are increasingly seeking to provide visitors with a modern and fresh experience throughout every aspect of their stay.

Showtel 2010 helps address this need by providing an exclusive forum for hoteliers to meet with suppliers of products and services to the hospitality industry,” said Stephanie Howard, IHF Showtel Organiser.

“The IHF’s 2010 annual conference will focus on helping hotels and guesthouses plan their way through the current economic difficulties and face the challenges that lie ahead. Given the high level of interest in next year’s event, we expect that all stands will be booked well in advance of the conference, so we would advise all interested suppliers to contact the IHF as soon as possible to guarantee a place for 2010.

“Last year’s Showtel was an enormous success with over 400 hotels participating, and we’re looking forward to growing attendance levels for 2010. The exhibition is a must for any competitive supplier of goods or services to our sector.

“It gives companies an ideal opportunity to meet face to face with senior decision makers such as hotel and guesthouse owners and general managers,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has confirmed its 65th National Conference will be held at NUI Galway from April 16-18 next with an expected attendance of 1,100 delegates as well as additional observers and members of the press. The venue will be the Bailey Allen Hall of NUI Galway.

City councillor Niall McNelis said: “The facilities at NUIG are very impressive and the Labour Party in Galway is thrilled that we were able to succeed in bringing the conference to Galway. This is recognition of the strength of the Party in Galway and its achievements as a campaigning Party over many years.

“The new facilities at NUIG were a crucial factor in Labour’s decision and we are delighted to be among the college’s first national conferences.

The facility is the most recent conference venue in the West of Ireland. The state of the art multi-purpose centre can accommodate conferences of up to 1,400 delegates and boasts a number of ancillary breakout rooms.

"It is vital in seeking to restart the economy, especially in Galway and the surrounding region, that we as a city continue to be able to attract the kind of high level meeting that this represents. The kind of facility such as this one at NUIG can help drive the local economy forward, and I look very much forward to the weekend of April 16, 2009," he added.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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