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Archive News

August 6, 1969



Date Published: 06-Aug-2010

1910 Races accidents

We regret to have record a number of accidents during Race Week. We must confess that whilst the police displayed much efficiency in dealing with the traffic on the route to and from the racecourse, there was a lamentable lack of control of the city traffic on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and those who had control of cars did very little towards a careful observance of the “rule of the road”.

If this rule were strictly enforced at all times by the police, much of the street accidents might be avoided. At various times during the week, about half a dozen collisions occurred.

Dressed for fight

Dominick Street barrack had three in the lock-up on Wednesday for drunkenness and seven last night. The principal delinquents were inhabitants of Munster-lane where a fierce row was kept up during both nights of the races.

One individual, dressed for fight, violently resisted arrest and had to be carried on all fours to the barracks. There was not a single cue in Eglinton st. lockup last night, and less than half a dozen on Wednesday.

“It was,” said an old policeman, “one of the quietest race weeks we have ever had in Galway.”

1935 Carnival week

Ballybrit, Galway’s famous racecourse, has again made history, or, perhaps, we should say, it has just been the scene of one of the greatest events in the history of the Irish Turf. The annual race meeting at this venue is one for which it can be claimed that it has achieved success in a wider form than any other race meeting in these islands.

This year’s meeting, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday, may not, perhaps, have been the biggest yet held on the famous Galway course, but its success in all respects was well in keeping with the best tradition of the venue. There was a large entry and a good field for all the races and the attendance was much higher than that of any year since 1921.

Never previously has such a vast stream of motor traffic been seen in the city that that which poured through its streets on Wednesday and Thursday on the way to Ballybrit. There were cars from all parts of the country and many which had been brought in by tourists from countries outside.

About 150 extra Guards were drafted into the city to cope with the traffic, and the fact that no serious accident occurred was a tribute to the capable manner in which they carried out the arrangements.

1960 Salthill litter

At Wednesday’s meeting of Galway Corporation, Mr. M. Divilly complained that cardboard containers from an automatic machine at Salthill were being thrown about and had blocked the shore there recently. Visitors cleared the shore with golf clubs.

1985 Race Week crime

Thieves got away with thousands of pounds in cash, clothes and jewellery in a series of daring raids in a packed Galway and Salthill this week. And Gardaí are also trying to trace a quantity of forged £10 notes which appeared in Salthill and Forster Street at the beginning of the week.

It was mainly the holidaymakers who felt the brunt of the criminals’ robberies in Salthill – many of them were robbed in hotel bedrooms while they slept peacefully through the whole affair.


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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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