Galway’s crime figures
Addressing the Grand Jury at the Spring Assizes, Lord Justice Moloney said: Turning to the general state of your county, and taking the figures for the East Riding, I find the number of specially reported cases since the last Assizes is 9, compared with 10 for the corresponding period of last year – a decrease of one which is not very great.
As regards minor offences, so far as assaults are concerned, for the year ending 31st December, 1915, there were 69 convictions, and in 1916 the number was reduced to 57. So far as convictions for drunkenness are concerned, I am sure you will be glad to know there has been a steady and progressive decrease for a number of years. In 1913, there was 951 convictions; in 1914, the number had fallen to 836; in 1915, there was a still further fall to 822, and last year it reached the low water mark, so far as the East Riding of the county is concerned, in amounting only to 135. This is a matter, I am sure, which is a gratifying circumstance in the history of the East Riding.
Turning to the West Riding, the number of specially reported cases since the last Assizes is 21, as compared with 32 for the corresponding period of last year, which is a very large and a very satisfactory decrease. While there was a decrease, and a very satisfactory decrease, in all serious offences, there was a very considerable increase in the number of assaults. In 1915, there were 191 convictions for assault, and in 1916, that had risen to 255; and, of course, gentlemen of your experience will probably be able to assign the proper cause to that amount of increase.
It may be that you know the circumstances of what happened in the early part of last year, and how much the social disturbances that had occurred had to do with the increase in the number of assaults. But when you look at the convictions for drunkenness, as far as 1915 and 1916 are concerned, they are practically the same. In 1915 there were 1,388, which is the smallest number there has been for many years. In 1916, they had risen to 1,393.
I can only hope that the figures which are shown on the statistics represent the true state of the county, and that you are prosperous and peaceable, and that you are law-abiding in every true sense of the word.
Emigration, in addition to its many other ill-effects, is hampering recruiting for the Red Cross and other voluntary organisations which need the largest possible membership during the present crisis.
This was made clear by His Lordship, the Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Bishop of Galway, when he presented certificates to some 200 men and women of the Red Cross in the Aula Maxima of University College Galway. After he had spoken of Galway’s good effort in voluntary, unpaid work for the crisis, His Lordship declared that it would do much better were it not for the numbers which had migrated to England.
“They are being enticed away by recruiting agents. No country would allow its citizens to be recruited for a foreign army; I cannot understand how recruiting at second-hand is being allowed in this country,” he said.
Call to abolish dole
Abolish the dole and give the money thus saved to the farmers to enable them to pay the increased wages to agricultural labourers granted last week by the Agricultural Wages Board. This procedure was advocated strongly at the meeting of the Galway County Committee of Agriculture on Wednesday. The following resolutions were passed unanimously: (1) expressing the opinion that the Tillage Order was not being complied with in the County; (2) stating that the Committee took a very serious view of the loss caused to agriculture by emigration, and (3) suggesting that something should be done to improve the position of farmers, such as subsidising agricultural wages.
The Very Rev. P. Canon Moran, P.P., Chairman, declared that he had seen farmers’ sons working on the roads while their fathers had to hire tinkers to pull the beet.
No Race Week?
Galway may be without its famous ‘Race Week’ this year. Although nothing definite has been decided as yet, it is probable that the Race Committee will be asked to agree to the transfer of the meeting to another venue. Problems have been occasioned by the growing transport difficulties.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.