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1,000 hoteliers to boost tourism in Spring



Date Published: 20-Nov-2009

GALWAY’S tourism industry is to receive a major early season boost next year – from up to a 1,000 hoteliers who are set to converge on the city for a conference.

The Irish Hotels Federation’s 2010 Annual Conference and Showtel Trade Exhibition will take place in the Radisson Blu hotel on March 1 and 2.

This follows on the news that the Labour Party conference will bring up to 1,100 delegates to the city in April.

The IHF is encouraging its 1,000 members across the country to take part in the 2010 event and find out which of the latest services, products and trends can give them the edge over their competition.

Key decision makers from hotels and guesthouses across the country will be in attendance at the next year’s event, making the exhibition the essential platform for suppliers to the hospitality sector and allowing companies to showcase new and existing product and solutions to a targeted audience.

According to the IHF, key areas of focus for members in the current environment continue to be the delivery of the highest quality of service, exceeding customer expectations and providing memorable experiences for guests visiting Irish hotels and guesthouses.

“As domestic and international competition intensifies, Irish hotels and guesthouses are increasingly seeking to provide visitors with a modern and fresh experience throughout every aspect of their stay.

Showtel 2010 helps address this need by providing an exclusive forum for hoteliers to meet with suppliers of products and services to the hospitality industry,” said Stephanie Howard, IHF Showtel Organiser.

“The IHF’s 2010 annual conference will focus on helping hotels and guesthouses plan their way through the current economic difficulties and face the challenges that lie ahead. Given the high level of interest in next year’s event, we expect that all stands will be booked well in advance of the conference, so we would advise all interested suppliers to contact the IHF as soon as possible to guarantee a place for 2010.

“Last year’s Showtel was an enormous success with over 400 hotels participating, and we’re looking forward to growing attendance levels for 2010. The exhibition is a must for any competitive supplier of goods or services to our sector.

“It gives companies an ideal opportunity to meet face to face with senior decision makers such as hotel and guesthouse owners and general managers,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has confirmed its 65th National Conference will be held at NUI Galway from April 16-18 next with an expected attendance of 1,100 delegates as well as additional observers and members of the press. The venue will be the Bailey Allen Hall of NUI Galway.

City councillor Niall McNelis said: “The facilities at NUIG are very impressive and the Labour Party in Galway is thrilled that we were able to succeed in bringing the conference to Galway. This is recognition of the strength of the Party in Galway and its achievements as a campaigning Party over many years.

“The new facilities at NUIG were a crucial factor in Labour’s decision and we are delighted to be among the college’s first national conferences.

The facility is the most recent conference venue in the West of Ireland. The state of the art multi-purpose centre can accommodate conferences of up to 1,400 delegates and boasts a number of ancillary breakout rooms.

"It is vital in seeking to restart the economy, especially in Galway and the surrounding region, that we as a city continue to be able to attract the kind of high level meeting that this represents. The kind of facility such as this one at NUIG can help drive the local economy forward, and I look very much forward to the weekend of April 16, 2009," he added.

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

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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