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Archive News

September 30, 2010



Date Published: {J}


Application for a wife

At the weekly meeting of Galway Board of Guardians, the Master handed in the following letter from a man from Newcastle Road, Galway, who says he wants a wife:

“Chairman and Gentlemen, would you be good enough to look through the house and see could you get what would suit me. She must be strong and healthy, quiet and sober, about 40 years of age. I am able to give a good living. I have 12s a week. I would be very kind to a good woman – Your obedient servant, Patrick Dolan.”

The reading of the letter was received with loud laughter. It was stated, however, that the communication was bona fide and that the application does really want a wife. The Master was directed to search through the workhouse and try to find a suitable lady willing to take the gentleman for better or for worse.

Drunk in charge

Constable McEntyre summoned Patrick Holian, Tierboy-road, Tuam, for being drunk in charge of a horse and cart on the 18th inst. Defendant was also summoned for not having a light on his cart on the same occasion. The constable stated that the defendant was a danger to the public and himself. Fines of 2s 6d and 1s 6d were imposed.


Dancehall decision

“I believe one dancehall is enough to cater for the dancing population of the district of Ballymacward,” said Mr Cahill, D.J., at Gurteen Court, where two dancehall licence applications were before him. Mr. Brendan Glynn, solr., Ballinasloe, applied for a licence for the local parochial hall on behalf of the parochial committee, and Mr. P. Hogan, sold., for an occasional licence for four dances on behalf of Mr. Martin Ward, Ballymacward.

The justice said he was glad there had been a full discussion on the two halls and that all the facts were put before the court. His chief concern was with the supervision. As he was against granting dance lincenes to individuals to run for private gain, and as he was of the opinion trhat one dance hall was enough for the village of Ballymacward, the question was which of the two was more easily supervised. He was opposed to the private dance hall.

He believed that a dance run by a responsible and respectable committee would be properly supervised and that their interest did not cease when the door receipts where counted as he believed many private dance halls did. He had nothing against Mr Ward or his character in saying this.

Serious complaint

A serious complaint was made at the Tuam Town Commissioners meeting on Tuesday evening when Mr. O’Malley reported that at the last fair in Tuam there were not sufficient wagons at the railway station to take away the stock and that buyers had to wait for hours before their could get their stock railed.

This is a complaint that was never heard of before in Tuam. Mr. O’Malley said two buyers complained to him that they had to wait from 9a.m. to 3a.m. before the wagons were available and one of the buyers said it was his first time at Tuam fairs and he would take care it was his last, he was so disappointed with the rail facilities.

Aerodrome land

Arising out of recent discussions at meetings of the Galway Harbour Board and Galway Urban Council regarding the need for a fully licensed aerodrome at Oranmore, it is interesting to note that a Bill to confer on local authorities the right to acquire land for aerodromes in conjunction with the Land Commission, and with the approval of the Department of Local Government, is stated to be under consideration by the Government. It is believed that very few aerodromes in the Saorstat would be self-supporting for the present.

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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