Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Black and red the new Tipp colours to replace the boys in blue



Date Published: {J}

As the Gardaí packed their bags and their blue uniforms to up sticks from Templemore forever, the Government swiftly steered a replacement gravy train into the station in the shape of a giant casino dropping out of thin air into the middle of the Golden Vale.

And in one fell swoop, Tipperary’s longest established cottage industry was wiped out and a new era was ushered in by that keeper of the community flame, Michael Lowry, turning a substantial portion of the Premier County into a landlocked Las Vegas.

The bitter irony of a ban on Garda recruitment – and the consequential closure of the training facility in Templemore – in the week that permission was granted for a €460 million casino up the road in Two Mile Borris would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

Ireland needs a super casino like Charlie Sheen needs another drink – and even if we did require a relaxation of the gaming laws, we most certainly do not need this abomination dropped into the middle of our rolling hills.

The developer Richard Quirke is himself a former Garda and clearly a wealthy man who has made his money from his Dublin casino business.

His sidekick, Independent TD Michael Lowry, is a great man to have on your side when you want something done – and boy did he put his shoulder to the wheel on this one. But then again backing the right horse is something Lowry has long had a talent for.

Naturally the closure of Templemore was blamed on the last Government, but it was supported by Alan Shatter’s belief that we have enough Gardaí to keep going for a few years anyway.

We certainly have enough of them in North Mayo, protecting the interests of our colonial friends from Shell as they attempt to take our gas inshore for buttons before using it to make billions in profits for their multi-millionaire shareholders.

And there was a fair few of them gainfully employed when the Queen and Barack Obama were in town. But with the overtime they incurred there, we might be a little thin on the ground when it comes to solving crime for a little while now.

Nonetheless Alan Shatter seems to think that we’ll be alright without any new ones for the next few years, which has to be good news for burglars and paramilitaries and drug dealers everywhere. At least we’ll have one growth industry – even if it’s only crime.

Of course thanks to Michael Lowry and his Trojan efforts, Tipp can now look forward to a new industrial era, as gamblers from the four corners of the globe fly in to spend their fortunes in the Vegas of the Golden Vale.

They’ll refloat our struggling economy with a few bob on red or black, as they deliberate whether to hold ‘em or fold ‘em – or they’ll be able to back one of Aidan O’Brien’s oul’ horses without leaving the comfort of Quirkey’s new emporium.

Of course the fly in this particular ointment might be the fact that gambling of this magnitude is still illegal in Ireland and facilitating a 6,000 square metre den of iniquity would require a change in the law.

Still, with Michael Lowry on your side, that is a mere formality; any man that can oversee the bidding for Ireland’s first mobile phone licence so thoroughly is clearly capable of sorting out a mere passage of legislation.

And then the high rollers can turn off at the Horse and Jockey and book in to the 500-bed hotel with its replicated White House facade before heading downstairs for a go on the one-armed bandits before heading for the roulette wheel.

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading