Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Show goes on for Shorelines Festival despite devastating fire in major venue



Date Published: {J}

Portumna’s fourth Shorelines Arts Festival will be officially opened next Thursday, September 22 by Michael D Higgins.

But there was pre-festival drama last week, because of a devastating fire at the Shannon Oaks Hotel, which was a venue and a major festival sponsor.

The temporary loss of the Shannon Oaks presented a challenge to the organising committee. However, swift responses from local people like Portumna Retirement village owner, Tony Williams and local PP Fr Brendan Lawless, solved some venue issues. That means that Declan O’Rourke’s Concert and an event celebrating the late Irish singer Delia Murphy can still take place.

Declan O’Rourke, whose songs have been recorded by artists like Josh Groban, Eddi Reader, Brian Kennedy and Mary Byrne will be in St Brigid’s Catholic Church for an intimate, seated concert at 8.30pm on Saturday, September 24. He will be joined by a cellist and violinist for a special, acoustic event. Tickets are available locally and online at €20.

Michael D Higgins will open the Festival at 4pm on September 22 in the refurbished VEC, home to this year’s Shorelines Art Exhibition. The building with its great windows and high ceilings is an ideal exhibition space. This event consists of work decorated by over 40 local voluntary groups over the last few months. The theme for the project is Anything under the Sun and work includes collages, knitted pictures, paintings and photographs, representing the area in all its variety. Visiting artists, including Emma Barone, Marie Connolle and Dick Gough are also taking part.

Portumna Community School is housing a studenta’ mixed media project, Unearthed and an exhibition of children’s prose and poetry is taking place at Portumna Library.

On Friday evening, September 23 the singer, Delia Murphy will be remembered by her niece Carmen Cullen, guitarist Gerry Anderson and singer /actor, Máirín O’Donovan. The event, I’ll Live Til I Die has been relocated to the Portumna Retirement Village at 8pm.

Shorelines 2011 is lucky to have access to a local Artist In Residence, Ruth Smith, who is making her many skills available this year. With her recent Masters in Traditional Music Performance from UL, coupled with her Drama & Music degree from Trinity and her acting experience, Ruth is ideal for this role.

She will host and produce The Shoreline Set in Portumna’s Church of Ireland on September 23 at 9.30pm, when she will be joined by guest singers and musicians for a celebration of folk, jazz, contemporary and jazz melodies, arranged exclusively for this event.

Ruth will also present Stages, a drama about the faces people present to the world. That’s part of an event at Portumna’s Workhouse Centre on Sunday, September 25 at 3.00pm, which also features readings from the local Pen Pushers club and music from singer/songwriters, Joe Casey and Colin Fahy, and piper/composer, Ger Fahy.

That will be followed by Portumna Castle Readings with poet, James Harpur, winner of the Michael Hartnett Award. Galway based prose writer, Alan Mc Monagle, whose work has appeared in many publications, will read from Liar, Liar, his first collection of short stories.

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading