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May 6, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Workhouse whiskey

The Board of Guardians of Loughrea Union will, at their meeting to be held on Saturday, the 14th day of May, 1910, receive and consider tenders for the supply from that day to the 31st March, 1911, of 7-year old whiskey in quarter casks, delivered free at the Workhouse. The whiskey must be supplied at full strength as taken out of bond, and parties tendering must state in the tender the strength, where bonded, and name of distiller. By order, J. Conway, Clerk of the Union.

Cowardly assault

Indignation is a mild term for the public feeling that has been manifested in Loughrea at the cowardly and murderous assault which has been committed by some members of the R.I.C. on two inoffensive young men, brothers, at Cross Street on the night of the 23rd ult., as a result of which they are still in hospital, and the Medical Officer cannot certify them to be out of danger.

Their names are John and Martin Kelly, and the saddest part of the affair is that Martin was after burying his young wife, to whom he was married only a few months, just the day before the occurrence.

It appears that on the night in question, the boys went down the town to pay the bill in connection with the funeral, and worried with the recent trouble, they had perhaps a drop too much, and coming home, they were spotted by a couple of members of the “superior” kind of police that we have now got in Loughrea, who thought they had materials for “a case”, and shadowed the boys to their home.

They hung around the door for some time, which it seems one of the young men resented and went out to know what they wanted, whereupon the row began, the police using their batons with such vigour as will account for the men’s detention in hospital for some time to come.



Much interest has been aroused by the comments in last week’s Connacht Tribune about the bee-keeping industry in Connemara. From further enquiries, which our Connemara correspondent has pursued in various parts of the country, it would appear that the prospects for a honey market this year will be remarkably good.


Sea monster

Fisherman fishing in Galway Bay on Wednesday found a sea monster which they killed and landed on an island at the mouth of the Bay. The monster is alleged to be 40 feet in length. This (Friday) morning, the “Connacht Tribune” special correspondent has gone to see the strange sea denizen.

 Graveyard condition

Most Rev. Dr. Dignan, Bishop of Clonfert expressed disappointment at the condition of the graveyards at Kilrickle and Killagh and said he had been exhorting the people to clean these graveyards since 1926, but was dissatisfied with the way these graveyards were kept.

 Tuam factory?

We understand that there are bright prospects of having a hosiery factory opened in Tuam within the present year. The leading Tuam drapers are taking an interest in the matter and negotiations have already taken place between them and other interested parties. Nothing definite has yet been decided on, but it is learned that a suitable site is likely to be obtained on the Dublin Road, Tuam.

It is suggested that the big demand for hosiery of home manufacture cannot be satisfied by the existing factories. Girls would be mostly employed in the factory, which would at the beginning give employment to about thirty hands.

Busy Novena

There was an enormous attendance during the past week at the annual Augustinian Novena to Our Lady of Good Counsel, which concluded on Tuesday with Rosary, sermon on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings. On the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, there was Solemn High Mass at 11 o’clock. The novena was marked by inspiring scenes of devotion, the huge congregation overflowing onto the steps of the church on several occasions.

The altars were beautifully embowered in flowers, and the lovely altar to Our Lady of Good Counsel made special appeal with its many bright lamps and glimmering candles.

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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