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Archive News

October 25, 2012



Date Published: 24-Oct-2012


Aviation meeting

A large number of people from Athenry went to Tuam on Monday for the aviation meeting, and the special trains from various places conveyed large numbers, and from accounts to hand, all were pleased with the day’s proceedings. A good many of our local sports are anxious to have an aviation meeting in Athenry, but as no enclosure is available, the financing of the undertaking is difficult.

Let there be light

A move is on foot in Portumna to light the town with electricity, and already two meetings have been held to forward the project. Any new installation will be welcomed as a vast improvement on the antiquated lights that hitherto illuminated the town. They were only a light in name, and seemed to be a target of ridicule for all who beheld them.

Fake professor

At Ballinasloe Quarter Sessions, before His Honour Judge Anderson, K.C., John H. Dooley pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely representing himself as a Professor of the new College at Galway, and that he was deputed by the Most Rev. Dr. O’Dea, Bishop of Galway, to enrol scholars for the College, and by this means obtaining food and lodging. The second indictment was for obtaining money by representing that he was the proprietor of a school of tuition.

Mr. Elder (who appeared for the accused) said no one regretted the unfortunate business more than his client. He was apparently a very intelligent man, and was for some years a tutor in Co. Galway, previous to which he was in the 1st Battalion of the Connaught Rangers, where his character records were very good.

He was a man who was hard-up and inclined to take a drop of drink. His Honour passed a sentence of three months’ imprisonment for the first charge, and ‘three months’ for the second, the sentences to run concurrently, from the date of committal.


Céad Míle Fáilte

There was an amusing incident when the evening Galway-Clifden ‘bus arrived crowded at Ballinafad on Wednesday. When the ‘bus stopped all the passengers got out to attend the wedding of Miss Delia O’Malley. One seeing the ‘bus empty, the remaining passenger who was an American visitor thought he had arrived at Clifden and promptly followed the crowd. He was afforded a Céad Míle Fáilte which more than compensated him for his mistake.

Strike threat off

It was learned during the weekend that the strike threat by the members of the Irish Engineering Union in Tuam beet factory, whose six days’ notice to the Irish Sugar Co. to terminate their services, expired on Saturday last, had been declared off. This news was received with general satisfaction owing to the approach of the sugar campaign in Tuam factory.

It is expected to open during the first week in November. It is understood that both sides to the dispute have agreed to the setting up of a Conciliation Board to adjust their differences.

Ballinasloe pitch development

A request to Ballinasloe U.D.C. to ask the Department for a loan to develop Duggan Memorial Park and Sports Field was made by members of the Sports and Development Association. Rev. Father Hughes, who headed to the deputation, asked the Council to negotiate a loan under the Towns Improvement Act, and use that loan for the development of the park.

“This had been done in other towns. If the Council could get this loan, the sports field could be properly developed. The Sports’ Association had not the funds necessary at their disposal to develop it as they would like, and until such time as the grounds are developed properly, the results that they at one time hoped for would not be forthcoming.


“I think If a deputation went to the governors of Garbally College, it would be possible to get the hill behind the showgrounds, which would make an admirable site for a grandstand, and which would accommodate up to 20,000 people,” said Father Hughes.

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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