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December 1, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Bad literature

At Tuam Board of Guardians, the Chairman proposed the following: –

“That we, the members of the Tuam Board of Guardians hereby express our approval of the crusade against the importation of evil literature into this country.

The baneful influence which an objectionable Press exercises on the moral characteristics of a populace is certain to have a demoralising effect, and the movement inaugurated in Limerick against the evil is one deserving of the support of the public bodies of Ireland, and by this expression and endorsement of their action, we hope the desired results will be obtained.”

In proposing the resolution, the Chairman said it was their duty to take action in this matter. They had plenty of healthy literature to read in the publications of the Catholic Truth Society stalls at their churches, in the Local Press, etc.

Mr. Larkin seconded the resolution, which was passed unanimously.

Bad roads

At a meeting of Ballinasloe Urban Council, Chairman A.D. Cahill said: I am glad to see the roads are pulling up and improving. I travelled from Ballinasloe to Ahascragh yesterday and I saw three miles of road around Annaghbog that there was not a a shovel of stones put on since last April. The ruts are fully six inches deep, and the horses are up to their bellies on it.

Mr. Elder: I agree.

Chairman: It is a living disgrace. I would ask you to pass a vote of censure on the County Council. It is a bad omen of Home Rule to throw everything into one man’s hands. It is scandalous to have a leading road from Ballinasloe in such a state. I myself pass a vote of censure on the County Council and on Mr. Moran for their neglect of this road.

Me. Beegan: One man cannot do all the work.

Mr Byrne: I say it is not Mr. Moran’s fault. He attends to his work properly. No matter what supervision he has he cannot get the work done.

Mr. Beegan: It was reported that Mr. Moran did not visit this road.

Mr. Byrne; The only quarrel that we had with Mr. Moran up to the present is that he has been over-officious. We didn’t admit he has too much ground to cover.

Clerk: We cannot get a contractor to take this road, although we increase the amount to £90.

Mr. Byrne: That makes it different.


Burned to death

That death was due to shock and injuries from burns, which were accidental, was the verdict of the Coroner, Dr. Cusack, sitting without a jury at St. Brendan’s Terrace, Ballinasloe, on a 2 years and 8 months old boy.

The mother of the child said the children were in bed upstairs, when she left the house for a few minutes, the father having gone to work.

When she returned, she found the child screaming and his clothes alight. She pulled the clothes off him and rolled him in a sheet. He was then badly burned and died in a few hours. The child must have come downstairs while she was out, as she found some pieces of burned timber which he had pulled from the fire.

Dr. Daly, M.O., who was early on the scene, said the child had expansive burns on the face and body. He did all he could for it, but there was then little hope for it, and he reported the matter to the Guards. Nurse O’Grady, who attended the child and called in the doctor, also gave evidence.

Road building

Over forty men commenced road-building at Camus on Monday under the new relief works scheme by which it is hoped to obviate the necessity of “dole”. Further employment will be shortly afforded in other areas.

Silver fox

While stalking wild geese at Ballinaboy on Monday night, John Conroy and Francis Faherty, Clifden, aroused and shot a silver fox weighing 58 lbs. The fox is presumed to have been also interested in the wild geese, and his splendid condition suggests that his interest was decidedly material.

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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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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