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December 9, 2010



Date Published: {J}


General Election

The electoral ‘fight’ – if one can dignify it by naming it a ‘fight’ – was opened in Galway on Saturday when the following candidates were nominated at the City Courthouse: Stephen Lucius Gwynn, M.A., Temple Gardens, London and James Leslie Wanklyn of the Marlborough Club, London. Mr Gwynn was described as an author, and Mr Wanklyn as a gentleman.


The precincts to the Courthouse was guarded by about a score police under District Inspector Mercer, of Galway and District Inspector Woods, of Oughterard, about fifty special police having been drafted in for the occasion.

For a considerable period after Mr Gwynn’s nomination papers had been handed in and accepted, there was no appearance of Mr Wanklyn, or on his behalf. About a quarter past 12, Capt. Law, R.N., rambled leisurely into the room, and left almost immediately after.

Those present were beginning to hope that we should be spared the needless turmoil and worry and trouble of an election, and that the City would not suffer the general paralysis of trade and business that a contest inevitably brings.

A little later, a gentleman arrived who stated that he had just refused to sign a nomination paper for Mr Wanklyn, who, up to that time, could not get a proposer and seconder. It was evident that the members of the puny mischief-making gang, who had egged this gentleman on to contest Galway with the sole object of putting the Irish Party to needless trouble and expense, had found it expedient to desert him at the last moment, and that he and the few supporters who remained were in sad straits.


Mr. Justice Wright, presiding at the Connaught Assizes in Limerick on Tuesday, had before him a case in which Francis Lally and John Hanniffy were charged with conspiracy against Mrs Katie Higgins for affording accommodation in her house to a Mrs Margaret Mulvey, at Tallyho, near Athenry. Mulvey is a constabulary barrack servant.

During the hearing, his lordship said he was quite justified in his statement at the opening of the Assizes that there was a state of lawlessness in some parts of Galway. The jury could not agree, and were discharged.


Postal boom

For the last few years, Galway has grown, and this growth is shown in the great increase in work at the General Post Office, Galway. Owing to the extension in all directions of the city boundaries, the post office has been finding it increasingly difficult to effect efficient deliveries of letters and parcels in some of the new suburban districts.

In consequence of this, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs have found it necessary to completely reorganise the local deliveries and to extend these to outlying parts which up to the present were regarded as rural areas and as such were afforded but one delivery a day.

As a result of the reshuffle, the town deliveries both morning and midday have been extended to embrace the limits in every direction of the present city boundaries and at the same time, much improved services have been afforded to many of the new districts.

New hospital

Without any formality, the new Cottage Hospital in Clifden was thrown open on Sunday by Mr. John Gallagher, secretary to the Galway Board of Health, whose energetic efforts, coupled with those of Mr. Eamon Corbett, T.D., Galway County Council, have been largely instrumental in having it put into commission.

The new hospital, completed three years ago at a cost of more than £16,000 from the Sweep Fund, was built to the designs of Mr Frank Gibney. It replaces the old Clifden District Hospital closed exactly fourteen years ago under the amalgamation scheme.

The hospital, which is primarily intended for the use of the sick poor, fills a long-felt need. Formerly, patients in need of treatment had to undergo the hardship of an arduous journey to Galway. As a result of the establishment of the new hospital, patients, on receipt of tickets of admission from the medical officers of their districts, will in future have facilities for getting the most modern treatments near their homes.

The Clifden Cottage Hospital will stand comparison with the best in the land. Two main wards, conforming to the most modern requirements as regards lighting and ventilation, provide accommodation for twenty patients – ten men and ten women. These wards form the east and west wings of the hospital.

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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