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April 26, 2012



Date Published: 25-Apr-2012


Harbour works

At the fortnightly meeting of Galway Harbour Board, Dr. Grealy asked why they would not give the option of the diver’s work to one of the dock gatemen. Mr. W.N. Binns, harbour engineer, said he had already stated that the job was one that would require an expert.

Mr. Binns asked for instructions with reference to the retaining wall at the north end of the dock, as it was in a dangerous condition. The harbour premises required repairs and painting.

Replying to Dr. Grealy, Mr. Binns said they would have to take down the retaining wall and rebuild it. He estimated roughly the cost and said he thought it would be advisable to do the work by contract. He would only do half the wall now – the portion that was absolutely necessary.

Mr. Grealy: Isn’t it better for us to do the whole of it now, and not have Mr. Marcus Lynch sending our money away to the Board of Works? (laughter). It was agreed to carry out the engineer’s recommendation.

‘Model’ citizen

At Athenry Petty Sessions, a man declared his intention to become a ‘model’ being when the Bench adjourned a charge of drunkenness for three months, on his production of the pledge.


Housewives in training

Galway County Council at their meeting held on Saturday in County Buildings, Prospect Hill, Galway, agreed to raise a loan of £16,000 to supplement a £15,000 loan previously raised for the building of vocational schools in the county.

During the course of a short discussion on the motion regarding the raising of the loan, Mr. Michael Quinn expressed the view that it would be better, instead of building new vocational schools, to erect an additional room at each of the country schools and have girls taught cooking, sewing, knitting, darning, etc. The teachers throughout the county could teach these subjects. In the case of woodwork and such technical subjects, itinerant teachers could visit the schools.

Rates arrears

The Council discussed at length work schemes for Tuam and matters relating to the collection of rates, the carrying forward of arrears, the striking-off of arrears, and a number of other matters of importance.

The County Secretary, Mr. C.I. O’Flynn said that the £15,000 raised for the building of vocational schools in Tuam, Ballinasloe and Gort had been found to be entirely inadequate. The County Vocational Education Committee intended to build an extra school at Athenry.

Gaeltacht kitchens

Mr. Michael Quinn said that every rural district had been provided for in the way of vocational education except Glenamaddy. He did not mean to suggest that he was in favour of the erection of these new schools and neither was he to be taken as objecting to the raising of a loan.

He believed that in ten or fifteen years’ time, these schools would be turned into dance halls or garages. It was a bad thing to be putting £31,000 on the rates for vocational schools, while £1,000 would not be put up for providing kitchens in Gaeltacht schools in which children could have their clothes dried.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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