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October 18, 2012



Date Published: 17-Oct-2012


Portumna races

At the Dublin City Sessions, before the Recorder, the Great Southern and Western Railway Company were sued by Messrs. Black and Callaghan, to recover damages for breach of contract with respect to the carriage of three racehorses from Geashill to Clara on Whit Monday en route for Portumna races. It appears the three horses ran on that date at Geashill meeting, and were entered to run the following day at Portumna, but were unable to fulfil the latter engagement as the defendant company refused to convey them back that evening to Clara owing to heavy traffic.

Evidence was given for the complainants that they offered to pay the full amount demanded for the conveyance back of the horses.

For the defence, the station master at Geashill (Mr. Kennelick) stated that he received a telegram from the manager directing him not to take any animals back that evening, and that the train had reached the platform when the offer had been made on behalf of the plaintiffs.


It was stated that there was reasonable expectations that the horses which were called ‘Skirt’, ‘Simple Paddy’ and ‘Escape’, would win at Portumna.

The Recorder held that there was a breach of contract, and have a decree for 1s. damages and 6s witness’s expenses, pointing out that there was no evidence of any actual loss by the plaintiffs.


School delay

The delay in the erection of the new school at Portumna was the subject of a complaint at the monthly meeting of the County Galway Vocational Education Committee. The chief executive officer and secretary (Sean Ó Dochartaigh) said that some time ago, the Committee accepted the tender of Messrs. Geraghty Brothers of Moylough, to erect a vocational school at Portumna for £4,300 odd, but the Department of Education refused to sanction the expenditure of such a large sum of money on one school, and requested that the bills of quantities be cut down.

Youngest bishop

Most Rev. Dr. Michael F. Browne, who was consecrated Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora on Sunday, is the youngest Bishop of the youngest See in Ireland, which extends into two ecclesiastical provinces and three counties.

This distinguished Maynooth Professor and brilliant Westport man will have jurisdiction over portion of his native county – viz., the detached parish of Shrule (Mayo), which was originally in the diocese of Annaghdown, the greater part of which is now merged in the Archdiocese of Tuam).

There was a very large crowd gathered in and around the County Buildings, Galway, when Most Rev. Dr. Browne arrived at 1.30 o’clock to receive addresses of welcome and loyalty from public bodies, teaching bodies, the clergy of the united dioceses, and the Galway branch of the Gaelic League.

When His Lordship arrived he was greeted by a great outburst of cheering, and His Lordship, as he passed through a guard of honour of Girl Guides, acknowledged the ovation by imparting his blessing.

Battle with pike

Whilst on holiday at Flood’s Hotel, Pettigo, Mr. and Miss Gahan, of Dublin, had an exciting finish to a day’s fishing on Lough Derg. Having captured twenty trout, Miss Gahan was reeling in another fish when she experienced a tug which emptied the entire line off her reel. Then began a thrilling battle between the angler and an unseen challenger.

After thirty-five minutes an enormous pike broke the waters at the line’s end. On being gaffed by the boatman and hauled into the boat, the circumstances of its capture revealed itself, for protruding from the pike’s moth was the tail of a 1 lb trout. On being weighed, the pike turned the scales at 18 lbs.

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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