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June 14, 2012



Date Published: 13-Jun-2012


Harbour lighting

A special meeting of the Galway Harbour Commissioners was held on Tuesday to consider the question of lighting the Harbour and accepting tenders.

The Chairman said the only business they were called there to do was to accept a tender for the lighting of the Harbour. He had to apologise for seeming neglect, as on the last day he was not aware that ten days public notice should be given to tenders, and a poll on the majority of the members present decided that the tenders should be opened.

This was done, and the offer of the Gas Company Ltd., had been accepted by a walk over, and he thought the action of the members present that day would be the same, and that the Gas Company would get the contract.

They had been most satisfactory during their last contract, and there was no cause for complaint.

Mr Ashe: I think it would be a good thing to get the views of the Harbour Master and the pilots on the matter. I believe there is not very much difference in the tenders and we should give the preference to the Gas Company. Some years ago, when there was electric light in the town, it went out on several occasions.

Purchasing the Park

A further discussion took place at a meeting of the Galway Urban Council in reference to the proposed purchase of land as Salthill suitable for a park. The Purchase Committee appointed by the Council reported the refusal of Mr. T. Costello, a member of the Council, to dispose of his interest in the proposed site, and after discussion the decision was arrived at of offering Mr Costello £400, the amount agreed on with Mr. Connolly, the other owner interested.


Chairman: Mr Costello asked £600 for the place; he came down to £550, and we could not pay that money.

Mr. Cunningham said he was very much disappointed in Mr. Costello, who, he thought, would be the last man to stand in the way of progress to the city.


Gaelic League

Referring to the draft Constitution at Carna Aeridheacht on Sunday, Mr Colm O Gaora said that it was not possible to have two official languages in any country. No man can serve two masters, he declared. If it were necessary to have two languages one would have to be subservient to the other. The official language of Ireland should be the language of the Irish people.

Dental defects

Dealing with dental diseases in his annual report for the year 1936, Dr O’Beirne, County Medical Officer, stated that it was a remarkable fact that, despite all the preventive measures which had been introduced into medicine in recent years, one rarely saw a set of teeth in children which did not show some degree of caries or decay.

Decay was caused, in the first instance, by defect in the protective enamel and consequent exposure of underlying dentine. Anything that hindered adequate formation of enamel led to caries.

The relation between sound teeth and diet is, therefore, obviously very important. Dr. O’Beirne pointed out that the addition to the children’s diet of cod liver oil, fruit and vegetables, wholemeal bread in preference to white bread, and the omission of sweets would help to lessen decay in children’s teeth.

The effect of white bread on teeth has been stressed by doctors on numerous occasions, but people generally are too much inclined to cater for their tastes in these matters without giving any consideration to health.

Another comment worthy of note is that children in rural areas have much sounder teeth than those of urban areas and large towns. This was perhaps due to quality of the foods used and to the lack of luxurious diets in the rural districts.

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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