Annual TB report
The annual report of the Tuberculosis Medical Officer for Co. Galway for the year ending April 31 is deserving of more than passing notice. Dr. B. O’Beirne informs the Sanatorium Committee that the number of applications received for treatment was 316 – 73 more than last year.
Although there were new cases, it does not follow that the dread disease of consumption is on the increase amongst us. The accurate inference would appear to be that the search for infected cases has become more thorough, and that the people, having become more alive to the grave peril of infection, display a greater readiness to notify the responsible medical authority.
Nevertheless, the facts set out in the report are sufficiently grave to merit serious and careful consideration. For instance, Dr. O’Beirne sets out the number of cases reported from each Union during the year as follows: Galway (62); Clifden (41); Oughterard (35); Gort (28); Tuam (24); Ballinasloe (11); Glenamaddy (10); Mountbellew (10); Loughrea (5); Portumna (4).
It is still very prevalent in Co. Galway, the doctor warns us, and more active measures are necessary if its incidence is to be lessened. He declares that it can be cured and prevented.
“If properly attacked, it would, in my opinion, be as scarce in the county as typhoid fever is at the present day.”
It is hopeful, however, that even in remote Irish districts, the public authorities are at last beginning to realise that the health of a community is its most valuable asset.
Local casualty list
Lieut. J. Forde, son of Mrs. Forde, Wood Quay, has been reported as wounded and missing. He was home on leave from the front about twelve months ago. Pte. T. McDonagh, Presentation Road, attached to the Irish Rifles has been killed in action, and Pte. B. Naughton, Henry-street, has been wounded.
Party politics low
No doubt the Fianna Fáil members of the Galway County Council are eminently satisfied with their performance at the newly-elected body on Wednesday. By a total disregard of fair play and the interests of ratepayers, they secured utterly disproportionate majorities on all the committees which were elected that day and reduced the elections to the level of a pitiful farce.
Mr. R.M. Burke, despite the fact that he headed the poll in the Tuam area with the second-highest number of first preference votes given to a candidate in any area of the county, failed to secure election to a single committee.
This was scurvy treatment of the only Labour representative on the new Council, a gentleman whose public career always has been characterised by honesty, decency and an unfailing sense of justice and fairness. Labour, we are sure, will remember this treatment of a representative of whom any party might well be proud – and will note also that groundlings who had difficulty in securing the quota were also boosted on to committees by ruthless “party” voting.
The blind partisanship of the political machine, of course, paid absolutely no attention to the pleas put forward by some of the best men on the Council that the “party” spirit should be left out of the committee elections. That would be too much to expect.
And, equally of course, the Farmers’ Party, Clann na Talmhain, had to be beaten at all costs, with the result, as Mr. Donnellan pointed out, that the representatives of 14,000 ratepayers have been denied adequate representation on these committees.
But, while it is easy to understand the attitude of Fianna Fáil representatives, it is not so easy to explain the curious voting of some members of other parties and the pusillanimity of one or two individuals. A little more support from quarters where Clann na Talmhan had every reason to expect it would have made a considerable difference in the situation to the advantage of the ratepayers as a whole.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.