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More traffic jams expected as city braces itself for weekend invasion



Date Published: 06-Jul-2012


It was akin to a Connacht final at Pearse Stadium finishing just before midnight, as thousands of cars jammed all routes out of the city on Wednesday night following the Volvo Ocean Race fireworks display in Mutton Island.

The City Council and Galway Gardaí reported that all routes out of the city were filled to capacity from 11.30pm to 12.30am as thousands of ‘county tourists’ made their way home after making it a family night-out for the fireworks display that took place at 10.45pm.

Galway Gardaí estimated that around 30,000 people were present for the fireworks display, but with a large proportion of that crowd made up of families travelling in from the county, the roads just clogged up around midnight.

This week, the City Council and Galway Gardaí have asked all people travelling in from the south, east and north, to strongly consider using the park-and-ride facility from Ballybrit Racecourse with City Council Director of Services, Ciaran Hayes, predicting huge crowds for the weekend.

“The Volvo has been an incredible success so far this week and there are real grounds for expecting even bigger crowds to throng the city for the weekend.

“What we are saying to people, is that we have an excellent park-and-ride service in place, that can avoid a lot of the traffic hold-ups with the bus lanes – this make life so much easier for people wishing to enjoy what is a wonderful event for Galway,” Mr Hayes told the Galway City Tribune.

An estimated 36,000 people turned out on Tuesday evening for the Saw Doctors concert at the Docks, an event that led to four mile tailbacks into town on the N17 Tuam Road, a route made famous with one of that band’s early hits.

“We are seeing most unusual traffic flows with roads like the N17 being extremely busy inward at a time when the most of the vehicles would be leaving the city. We are delighted though in the city at how the new automated traffic control system has worked this week,” said Mr Hayes.

Some motorists spoke of a slightly ‘eerie’ experience when caught in huge traffic tailbacks out of town around midnight on Wednesday night – a ‘normal’ five minute drive from the city centre to Knocknacarra took some motorists over 45 minutes, following the fireworks display.

Sergeant Shane Cummins of Galway Garda Station told the Galway City Tribune that given the crowds thronging the city so far this week, there was a strong possibility of even bigger numbers turning out for the weekend gigs.

“These really are phenomenal crowds coming to the city and I would plead with all motorists approaching from the eastern routes to use the park-and-ride facility at Ballybrit Racecourse.

“Anyone thinking of bringing their cars into the city centre will have to accept that long delays will face them – the park-and-ride is a really great facility that can take all the parking problems and traffic delays out of the equation,” said Sgt Cummins.

He added that there had been a very positive reaction from the many motorists who had used the park-and-ride facility so far this week.

“All of them said it was quick and highly efficient – it took the stress out of their visit to the city,” said Sgt Cummins.

A massive crowd is expected for the Sharon Shannon concert on Saturday night at the Docks (9pm), which features a 40 piece back-up orchestra, while large daytime crowds are expected on Saturday morning for the in-port racing. The Stunning play at tonight’s free open air concert in the Docks.

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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