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Airshow and powerboat races confirmed for summer



Date Published: 15-Dec-2009

GALWAY City will host one of the world’s most prestigious powerboating races next Summer, which has the potential to generate around €30 million for the local economy.

And in a further boost to local tourism the Salthill Airshow, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the seaside resort in previous years, looks set to make a return in 2010.

The organisers of the Powerboat World Championships have confirmed to City Manager, Joe MacGrath that the event will be staged in Galway beginning on June 5. The event would be organised and modelled on this Summer’s highly successful Volvo Ocean Race Stopover, which attracted record crowds to the city.

Powerboat Championship ‘scouts’ were in the city during the two weeks of the Volvo Stopover and were so impressed with how it was staged that they have decided to bring their event to Galway in 2010.

One event would be a powerboat race circumventing the island of Ireland, starting and finishing in Galway Bay. There would also be several races for different classes of powerboats every day for the seven days in Galway Bay, which would be viewed from the Promenade in Salthill.

The Powerboat Championship is the world’s premier marine motorsport and the powerboats are like Formula One race cars on water – the supercharged powerboats travel at speeds that often exceed 125mph during racing. The good news was conveyed by the organisers by letter to the City Manager on Friday and was announced at the Budget meeting by Mayor of Galway City Cllr Declan McDonnell.

Mayor McDonnell said the Council would make provision of €25,000 in the 2010 Budget as ‘seed funding’ for the Powerboat World Championships. He also said a further €25,000 would be made available for the Salthill Airshow in 2010, although no proposal for an Airshow next year has been received by City Hall yet.

The money will be diverted to other marketing initiatives if the Salthill Airshow Committee decide not to take up the offer of funding in 2010.

Yesterday, Chairman of Let’s Do it Galway John Killeen, one of the men responsible for securing the Volvo Race for Galway, said the €25,000 of seed funding from the Council was welcome but added that a further€400,000 would have to be raised through businesses and other stakeholders if the event is to go-ahead. A meeting will take place today (Tuesday) with the event organisers, he added.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said anyone who cares for Galway and cares for local businesses would support the provision of funding for the Airshow and powerboating races.

Independent Councillor Catherine Connolly called for a civilian Airshow that would have a variety of aircraft and gliders that would “celebrate the wonders of flying but would not celebrate war”.

Meanwhile, Mayor McDonnell confirmed at Friday’s meeting that the Council would provide €25,000 towards a fund of €100,000 made up of contributions from businesses and hotels that will be doubled to €200,000 by Fáilte Ireland West, which will be used to market Galway City as a tourist destination.

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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