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June 9, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Potato theft

At Killimore Petty Sessions, a tramp named John Dwyer was charged in custody with the larceny of a bag of potatoes from Francis Haverty of Killimore. James Haverty deposed: I was drawing manure at Ballycahill about six o’clock in the evening when I met a tramp named John Dwyer, whom I now see present and identify. He had a bag of potatoes on his back, and, as I suspected, the potatoes were taken from my pit, I found it freshly opened and a quantity of potatoes gone.

I caught a hold of him and tried to bring him to the police barrack, but he resisted and I sent a neighbour for the police, who arrived in a short time. I examined the potatoes in the bag, and to the best of my belief the potatoes were mine. What made me suspect Dwyer was that I found him at the same pit last year stealing my potatoes.

At this stage, the accused pleaded guilty and begged of the magistrate to deal with him and take into account that he was already three weeks in Galway jail.

The Clerk of the Court handed a list of the prisoner’s previous convictions to the R.M., who exclaimed on seeing it: “Oh my, this is terrible! You have been convicted in Clonmel, Thurles, Youghal, Macroom, Roscrea, Galway, Headford, Ballyhaunis and various other places for all kinds of crimes.

Prisoner: That is a mistake, your worship, it was not me.

He was sentenced to one month in Galway jail with hard labour.


IRA groceries

There was but one claim under the Damage to Property Compensation Act before his lordship, Judge Wyse Power, at Galway Circuit Court on Tuesday. James J. Hession, of Ballagh, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, claimed £200 for goods alleged to be supplied to the I.R.A. – Mr. T.J. Connolly, B.L. (instructed by Mr. T.A. O’Donoghue, solr., Tuam), for appellant, and Mr. R.J. Kelly, S.S., defended.

James J. Hession said he looked after a farm and his wife, since dead, was in charge of the business. The business in Barnadug failed and the books were burned. He could not give the exact figure but he claimed £200, which was less than the correct amount.

Patk. Dunleavy, who was O.C. of the Brigade of the 2nd Western Division and resigned in August 1922, said there was a lot of goods supplied by the applicant to the I.R.A. forces in that area.

Martin Ford, a member of the I.R.A. during 1922 agreed that groceries were supplied to the I.R.A. by applicant. Witness got goods himself in July or June, 1922.

His lordship made a report for £90 with £3 expenses.

Ship in custody

On Friday last, stealing out of the mist to the accompaniment of the booming of the minute-gun, the Free State fisheries protection steamer, Muirchu, put into Clifden bay with the French lobster-fishing boat ‘Paul et Paulette’ in tow. The boats were met by Garda Faherty and Detective Officer O’Shea and later the captain of the French vessel, Jean Marie Drevillon, a native of Camaret, was taken into custody by Sergeant Sarsfield.

The capture of one of them at this time of year and the penalties inflicted will, it is felt, go far towards putting a check to the wholesale robbery of the lobster-beds which yield a livelihood to some of the hardest working and poorest people in the world.

Reports from Inishboffin and other points along the coast state that French boats are still operating everywhere and that damage is being done to the fisheries.


Rubbish bins

The Galway Junior Chamber of Commerce has arranged to present the Corporation with litter boxes for the main streets of the city. The Junior Chamber stated that this will be their first practical contribution towards the Tidy Towns campaign.

They have also announced that the National Bank Ltd., has agreed to the display of Galway’s Sword and Mace on their premises due in normal banking hours and that the Galway jewellery firms of Messrs. Faller, Dillon, Hartmann and Pierce have agreed to donate a plate glass and mahogany display case for the purpose.

It has also been arranged that illustrative leaflets, giving the history of the Insignia, will be available to visitors.

The Junior Chamber are planning a series of entertainments for tourists during the coming season.

Knocknacarra bus

Coras Iompair Eireann has refused an application by Galway Chamber of Commerce to have the Galway-Salthill bus extended as far as Knocknacarra. Ald. P.D. Ryan said the matter could be pressed again in the near future.

For more, read this weeek’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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