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Archive News

May 4, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Licensing case

At the Petty Sessions, D.I. Heard summoned Mr. Martin Hawkins Shop-street, for a breach of the licensing act on 27th March last. Sergt. Gilmartin deposed he was on duty with Constable Binnerhassett opposite Hawkins’ public house at 11.55pm. He went to the door and could hear people speaking in the shop.

Witness knocked at the front door and after knocking the conversation ceased and the parties left the shop and went to the kitchen. After some time the publican opened the door. He asked Mr Hawkins to account for the presence of James Toner, Shop-street and the publican made no reply.

Solicitor Mr. H.M.A. Murphy said: This is a very tiny shop with a very tiny shop next to it. Mr Toner is a hairdresser doing a respectable business, and on this particular occasion Mr Hawkins, who requires to be shaved as well as anyone else (laughter), left the razor to his next door neighbour to have it sharpened. The man was back with the razor when the police came on the scene. There is no evidence of drink, but Mr. Hawkins will tell you honestly he gave the man no drink.


Mr. Hawkins deposed he closed his premises at the proper time and at about 10.30, he gave the razor to Mr Toner to sharpen. He took it away with him and brought it back at 11.30. Witness gave Mr. Toner a drink at 10.30. He gave him no drink when he returned with the razor.

The case was dismissed.

U.I.L. eviction

On Friday fortnight, Mr. Thonas P. Corless, D.C. President Kinvara United Irish League, was evicted out of his holding at Crehaun, Kinvara, in pursuance of an order made by Judge Gibson at the recent Spring Assizes setting aside a deed purchasing the tenants’ interest and goodwill as far back as October 1902. Suffice it to say the eviction was part of a huge conspiracy to ruin a man for openly identifying himself with the National casue.


Bog reclamation

The 400 acres farm of Mr Kenny, Ballinakill, near Eyrecourt, has been the source of an agitation amongst the surrounding farmers, who for the past few years feel that it should be taken over by the Land Commission and divided. The owner of the farm, Mr. Kenny, lives in Tipperary, and the farm is being grazed, there being a couple of hundred cattle and sheep on it.

Guards, under their chief office in Ballinasloe, and from other districts kept a careful watch on the farm last week, as there were fears of a cattle drive. It is believed that the watchfulness of the guards over the farm averted a big cattle drive which was being organised in the district. Guards are still keeping a vigilant eye on the farm. Meetings calling for the division of the land, which was part of the Pollock estate, have been held from time to time.

Painting Tuam Hall

The tender of Mr James Stockwell, Tuam, for £182 10s. for the painting of the Town Hall externally and internally was not accepted, as the Board could not afford the expenditure of this sum. A committee was appointed to consult with Mr. Stockwell as to the cost of the eternal painting only and to see if the work could be done for a sum that the Board’s finances would allow. As Mr. Stockwell’s tender was opened and declared publicly, the Board considered it to be unfair to invite any other contractor to tender.

Little girl killed

A tragic accident occurred in Ballygar on Tuesday evening, as a result of which the six year-old daughter of a Garda stationed in the town, succumbed to injuries. The little girl was accompanied by her younger sister and the daughter of another Garda on their way home from school at about 4pm, when an Austin car was involved in an accident with her.

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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