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February 10, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Kilcahill sensation

A sensational occurrence is alleged to have happened on Sunday night last at Kilcahill, near Tuam, in Cummer sub-police district. From the special court proceedings arising out of it and held in Tuam on the following day, it is alleged that a revolver shot was fired at three police who left Tuam on patrol duty at about 7 o’clock on Sunday evening.

After remaining some time within the vicinity of the house of John Burke, who resides at Currandrum and is under police protection, the police patrol proceeded along the road in the direction of Tuam. After passing Corrandrum school house, a horse and car on which there were six passengers was met, and immediately it had passed the police transport car, the report of a revolver shot was heard.

The police immediately turned round in pursuit of the car they had passed which trotted away quickly. The chase was continued as far as Annaghdown where four young men were arrested.

Shot dead

Patrick Sheehan, a herd and small farmer of Drumacoo, was shot dead at about half-past eight last night as he was on his way home from Kilcolgan. The fatal shot was fired from the Tyrone demesne wall, which is over six feet high. Sheehan fell to the ground, and when found afterwards was quite dead, a gun-shot wound being found in his right temple. It is believed that death was instantaneous.

Sheehan, who holds some land, and is also a herd, has been boycotted for a considerable time. He was carrying his food home for the night when he was shot and the parcel was subsequently found grasped tightly in his hands. Four men were later arrested for the murder.

Killimore eviction

A special meeting was held on the 5th inst. for the purpose of discussing the contemplated eviction of Michael Flannery, Sismihil, by John Donohoe, Heathlawn. The eviction would be as ill timed as it is repugnant to the Nationalist sentiment. The constructive policy has displaced the destructive in this parish. We have had a breathing space here for some time past, and it would be infortunate to have eviction scenes again renewed.


Ballinasloe hospital

The Local Government Department wrote to the Galway County Board of Health with reference to the proposal to build a district hospital in Ballinasloe, stating that the Board of Health should advertise for an architect of experience, the fees payable to be the usual professional fees. The Board decided that Messrs. J. Gannon, B.E., and M. Sweeney be appointed engineers, both men being willing to call in an approved architect.

Regarding the selection of a site for the hospital, the secretary said he had received a letter from the Local Government Department stating that persons offering land should be expected to state the price expected.

Rumour denied

The rumour that the Galway Industrial School at Lower Salthill is to be closed and the boys transferred to the Letterfrack school has been denied by the community of the Irish Christian Brothers by whom the school is conducted. A Connacht Tribune representative who visited the school was informed that the suggestion of a transfer was not made at any time by anyone connected with the school and that there was no foundation whatsoever for the rumour. The Commission appointed to investigate the industrial school system in the Free State have not yet made their report.

Knock claims

Most. Rev. Dr. Gilmartin, Archbishop of Tuam, has had forwarded to the Holy See a copy of the recently published book on the Shrine at Knock, Co. Mayo, by District Justice W.D. Coyne. The book will be translated into Italian and placed before the Congregation of Sacred Rites, to whom His Grace is also submitting the other necessary documents and data.

Mrs. Mary O’Connell, of Knock, one of the two surviving witnesses who claim to have seen the apparition of the Blessed Virgin outside the little Church of Knock on August 21, 1879, is at present seriously ill.

Prior to her illness, she made a sworn statement before a Commissioner of Oaths, in which she again related her story of the Apparition.

Her account is similar to the one she had given many times when interviewed, but in concluding the sworn statement she said: “I am quite clear about everything I have said, and I make this statement knowing that I am going before God.”

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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