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December 15, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Dunmore ‘farmyard’

At Dunmore Petty Sessions, Messrs. T. O’Rorke, J.P. (in the chair) heard that Constable Carroll summoned Michael Glennon, Dunmore, for allowing a cow, his property, to wander on the public road at Dunmore.

Defendant said he had the cattle grazing at Capt. Martyn’s residence and they broke out. Mr. Martyn remarked that there were cases of a similar nature about a year ago and the magistrates held that the herd should be summoned.

Mr. F.B. McDonogh, solr., said he was noting as solicitor for two other people who were concerned in similar cases. There were, as Mr. Martyn stated, cases last year which were dismissed owing to the bad condition of the fences.

Head-constable Cheasty said that in one of the cases referred to by Mr. McDonogh as acting in, the cow was found outside the Protestant Church gate, chewing her cud, “which was disgraceful”, commented the head constable.

Mr. McDonogh, solr., asked what more disgrace was it on Sunday than on a weekday.

Head-constable: These cattle are wandering all round town, and the public street of Dunmore is practically a farmyard, and the owners are not making any effort to mind them.

Defendant was ordered to pay 6d fine and costs.

Prisoners’ release

On Friday evening when the news reached Kinvara that James Kavanagh and Martin Kenny, who were arraigned at the Connaught Winter Assizes on a charge of firing at Patrick Linnane, at Cappacasheen on November 3, were acquitted by order of Judge Dodd, who refused to allow the defence to be entered into, the greatest enthusiasm prevailed.

As pre-arranged, a bonfire was lighted on the top of Dungara Castle, followed immediately by another on Newtown Castle, and as they could be seen for miles around, the contagion spread like wild-fire, and within an hour bonfires were blazing along by the seaboard and in every corner of the parish.


Englishman on Aran

Sean O Gallchobhair, secretary of the County Galway Board of Health, reported that there was at last a possibility of having the famous fairy-cottage on Aran occupied. This cottage, which was supposed to be inhabited by the fairies, was unoccupied for a long time and they could not get a tenant for it, but now an Englishman was coming all the way to Aran. Apparently, the fairies were not going to frighten him.

Mr. Keane: Maybe it is the king. Is his name Windsor? (laughter)

Secretary: No, he is from Yorkshire. He is coming to spend the rest of his life in Aran. He has been coming there on holidays every year for a long time.

The Board decided to have the cottage repaired for the new tenant from England.

Artisan houses

The tenants of the thirty artisans’ houses at Parkmore and McHale Terrace may now purchase their houses for the sum of £128 each. These houses were built in 1911 and the money for building them was obtained by loan, to be repaid in sixty years. The amount, £128, is the sum required for each house to pay off the total balance due on the loan to the Board of Works. The tenants are free to purchase their own houses individually.

Storm havoc

The Galway Bay Steamship Company’s vessel, Dun Aengus, which was out on Galway Bay between 3.30am and 5pm on Sunday, with over 700 volunteers for the Spanish civil war, received a severe pounding from the waves when she ventured outside the mouth of the bay. She took shelter under Black Head while awaiting the foreign vessel which was to take aboard the volunteers.

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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