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Archive News

December 30, 2009



Date Published: {J}

Pig problem

The townspeople of Athenry have a serious grievance in connection with the pig markets, and the sooner this grievance is remedied the better, if the people are not to go back to Paganism.

It has been the custom of the country people for some time past to bring in their pigs to Athenry the night previous to the fair or market, and some of the shopkeepers give stabling to their country customers and friends.

 On Sunday last, it was lamentable from a religious point of view to see the large number of country carts which arrived in town for Monday’s pig market. While the country farmers are to blame for this irreligious practice those in town who encourage them by giving them stables are far worse, and doubly guilty for disturbing the people of the town on Sundays and holidays, which happen to precede fair days.

Another matter which occupies a prominent place in the minds of the townspeople is the manner in which the fairs and pig markets are conducted. The outside public would scarcely believe that a pig fair was in full swing at midnight on Sunday, and any of the businesspeople were compelled to stop up all nght. The fair was over, so far as buying and selling is concerned, at 2 o’clock in the morning, and the country people are all tied away from the town at 8 o’clock a.m.

These fairs are, therefore, no good from a business point of view, and the rule made some years ago of not permitting buying to take place until 8 o’clock in the morning should be strictly enforced.

 Clifden penalties

At the last meeting of Clifden Guardians, the following resolution, proposed by Mr. John D’Arcy, was carried unanimously – “That we, the Clifden Board of Guardian instruct our Clerk to obtain a copy of the Lord Chief Baron’s judgment in the case of the appeal of the Board of Richmond Asylum against the surcharge of the auditor”.

This has arisen owing to the fact that the auditor has already surcharged the Clifden Guardians in the matter of contracts where they had not accepted the lowest tender, and a further surcharge is threatened for the same cause, although the judgment above referred to states that the opinions of public bodies who are entrusted with the disbursement of public monies should be supreme, and that they need not accept the lowest tender, and that no auditor or other person can compel or coerce them to do so.

Town Hall opening

It has been announced by Monsignor McAlpine, P.P., that the Town Hall, Clifden, will be formally opened on January 6, when His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Healy, Archbishop of Tuam, will be present, together with that eminent historian and scholar – Dr. D’Alton – by whom a lecture will be delivered. It is also expected that a few of our M.P.s will be present.


Cinemagoers spoilt

Picturegoers are being well catered for at Galway’s cinemas this week.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights “A Cup of Kindness” was screened in Galway’s new super cinema, the Savoy and was a sparkling comedy, guaranteed a laugh bringer.

Christmas rates

The collection of rates in County Galway during the Christmas week showed a decided improvement as compared with the collection during the corresponding week last year.

At the weekly meeting of the Finance Committee of the Galway County Council, Mr Martin Quinn, chairman, presiding, said the rates collected during the week amounted to £2,062 as compared with £960 during Christmas week 1933.

The total collected to date was £61,973 or 32.6 per cent.

 Suicide charge

At Galway Circuit Court on Wednesday, before his lordship, Judge Wyse Power, a man from Tiernea, Lettermore, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted suicide by throwing himself into the sea on November 15, 1934.

His lordship said he believed the accused did not know what he was doing at the time through drink and would therefore discharge him.


Christmas boom

“Business in Galway during the few days prior to Christmas Day was better and brisker than it was during any Christmas advent of recent years.” This is the expressed opinion of many Galway businessmen, but none ventured to offer a reason for the improvement.

A week before Christmas market prices held on the same level as those ruling prior to the previous Christmas and business was not all that might be expected in the shops. The only improvement in prices at the markets came with a strong demand for turkeys on Wednesday.

The improvement in shopping business was noticeable in every section of trade – drapery and millinery, grocery and fancy trade etc., and the range of purchases outside the type of articles generally purchased for gifts was extensive.

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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