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October 28, 2010



Date Published: {J}


Remarkable figures as to the amount of congestion existing in Dunmore and district were given at a monster demonstration which was held there on Sunday last under the auspices of the Dunmore branch of the United Irish League.

The Very Rev. Canon Macken, Chairman, said: “I believe in the Irish Party (cheers). I am as convinced as I can be of anything in the political world, and that the revolution has been wrought in Ireland in the last 30 or 40 years by the Land Acts and other beneficient Acts, is mainly, if not altogether, the proud achievement of that splendid organisation (renewed cheers).

“No country in the world can point to such a happy transformation, brought about, too, by methods of peace. I don’t see how anyone can deny the truth of this statement, and it seems an axiom in the politics of our own times.

“If, then, these services have been rendered to Ireland by the National Party, they are deserving of the respect and sympathy of everyone who loves Ireland and desires to see prosperity and comfort taking the place of chronic poverty and distress.

“And as regards the tenant farmers it would be not only ingratitude, but the highest folly and unwisdom, not to rally round the Party and cheer and help them until they had achieved the full measure of the nation’s rights.

“I can answer for the men of this district that they will be true to their colours, that they will not be betrayed from the true political path by the witching words of factionists. We do not mind naval scares or Home-Rule-all-round scares in these parts.”


Gelignite explosion

Paddy Acton, a young man living in Moycullen, and Frank Hegarty, Co. Donegal, sustained extensive injuries when a blast of gelignite exploded at their feet while they were engaged in blasting operations on a sewerage scheme for Messrs. McNally and Sons, building contractors, Galway, near the Galway Central Hospital at noon on Saturday. It is stated that the blast was not laid when the explosion occurred.

Young Acton received the most extensive injuries. His left eye was destroyed and his right eye injured. He sustained a severe gash on his forehead, another on the lower part of his face, an extensive wound under his throat and several smaller cuts and bruises. One of Hegarty’s eyes was also slightly injured. He received several severe cuts about the head. A third man, Patrick O’Loughlin, Grealishtown, received injuries in one of his hands but though severe, they were not very serious. His hand was dressed at the Central Hospital and he was discharged.

The other two men, Acton and Hegarty, were rushed immediately to the Central Hospital for treatment and are detained.

A “Connacht Tribune” representative was informed at the Central Hospital on Tuesday morning that both men are progressing favourably.

End of the line

The work of removing the railway between Clifden and Galway is going speedily forward. The tracks are being transported by lorry to Clifden Quay where they await shipment. It is proposed to bring a two hundred ton ship to the quay and if the first load, which will be taken within the next few weeks, is taken successfully away, the remainder of the rails will also be sent from Clifden.

Language revival

It would be a mistake to think that the work of the Gaelic League is done, and that there is no further need for such an organisation. It is more necessary now than ever. It should provide learners of the language with just those opportunities which the schoolroom alone cannot be expected to provide fully.

It must not be forgotten, however, that the revival of the language is not the only object of the League. The League’s programme is much more comprehensive, and should commend itself to every Irishman who has the cultural interest of the country at heart.

Nor is it absolutely necessary to be an Irish speaker to be a member of the League; there are many ways which the League can be helped by those who have not yet become, and perhaps never will become, fluent Irish speakers.

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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