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June 16, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Ballinasloe asylum

The financial condition of the District Asylum does not appear to be all that can be desired. At the meeting on Monday, a letter was read from the Treasurer, the agent of the Bank of Ireland, stating that the account was overdrawn by £5,000 and that unless provision was made to meet this he would have to refuse to honour cheques.

This state of things seems to have arisen from the committee cutting down the estimate of the R.M.S. which is evidently a false economy. The appeal to the Local Government Board to legalise the payment of interest on an overdraft, is not likely to meet the situation, and the reply of that body is likely to be that they have no power to do so.

Indecent assault

A shocking case of indecent assault was reported to the Tuam police as having occurred on the outskirts of the town on Saturday. The victim of the brutal attack was a child, said to be only four years, whose parents are of the tramp class.

A tailor, said to hail from Kilkenny city, aged 34 years, is accused of the offence. The police, on hearing of his description, immediately set out in chase of the man, who was arrested whilst on his way in the direction of Galway. He was charged before Mr. M. Kilgarriff, J.P., on Sunday, and remanded for eight days. He will be charged on Monday next, at the Petty Sessions. The little girl is presently in the Workhouse hospital, Tuam.

Prisoners’ fund

A meeting of the parish committee of the Craughwell Prisoners’ Defence Fund was held on Saturday night for the purpose of taking steps to make a house to house collection throughout the parish, to help to defray the expenses incurred in the defence of Messrs Dermody and Hynes.

As could be seen by the report of the proceedings of the last meeting of the Co. Committee, a sum of about £70 is still required to clear off all expenses in connection with the trial of these two men, whose innocence has been so clearly vindicated by the verdict of a Co. Dublin jury.

Rumoured picnic

We understand that some of the Tuam ladies are contemplating the organisation of a picnic, which is expected to come off shortly. With the prevailing craze amongst women for votes and equal civil rights as men, it is to be hoped that the Tuam ladies will, like the suffragettes, persist in the carrying out of their object, which the writer wishes may succeed and prove as pleasant as the similar function organised by their gentleman friends a short time ago.


Petrol pumps

Mr. John J. Golding applied for permission to erect four petrol pumps in Eyre Square. Mr. Kennedy wrote to say he had no objection to the erection of three, nor to the fourth if the position were changed to suit his suggestion to the applicant. On the motion of Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Cooke, the necessary permission was granted subject to Mr. Kennedy’s stipulation.

Clifden railway

The Railway Company, it is said, last week brought several lorry loads of sand from Galway to Clifden railway station. The sand, it is stated, was used in the making of a new traffic way from the platform to the former engine shed.

Surprise has been expressed at what is described as this “bringing of coals to Newcastle”. The rate for bringing flour by road is 10s. per ton. The advertisements which appeared last week asking for tenders for the purchase of the super-structure of the line is regarded in Connemara as an indication that all hopes of ever re-opening the line are vain.

New church

It is expected that the new church in the course of erection at Gorumna Island, South Connemara, will be completed and ready for the opening ceremony during the next month. An altar of Connemara marble has been installed by Messrs. Harrison, Dublin, and all the material used in the construction of the church is as far as possible, of Irish manufacture.

By-election campaign

The by-election campaign is progressing in Galway. Hundreds of meetings were addressed by speakers from the two big parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, over the weekend. Senator Padraic O Maille spoke in Irish and English. He asked the farmers if their ancestors would be prepared to sell the country for £4 or £5 in the price of the bullock. They would not, but would go down like men and women and not cringe under the economic war.

Mr. P. Beegan, T.D., said they were prepared to settle the economic war on fair and honest principles. The country was building up to a state of self-sufficiency. They were asked why Fianna Fáil did not declare a Republic.

They would declare a Republic when they were able to maintain it and by producing what the people wanted in food, and that was as important as taking up arms for the Republic.

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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