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August 18, 2010

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 18-Aug-2010


Tramp vandal

On Friday evening a man of the tramp class named Rock, a baker, maliciously broke a plate glass window in the house of Miss Healy, Dominick Street, by throwing a stone through it.

Rock, at the time he committed the offence, was drunk, and was creating a scene in that portion of the town. He endeavoured to gain admission to a neighbouring business house, and this was refused by an employee who threw him on the street.

The aroused Rock’s anger, and probably mistaking Miss Healy’s house for the house from which he was thrown, he threw a stone deliberately at the window and smashed it.

Sergeant Walker, on approaching the scene, was discovered a distance away by Rock who decided on making good his escape. He ran through the town and was pursued by Sergeant Walker through several streets. Owing to the throng of people on the streets at the time, Sergeant Walker was unable to capture him. Rock has since evaded arrest. The window was valued at £7 and was insured.

Street preaching

On Saturday, the Clifden dair day, a strange incident occurred in front on the R.I.C. barrack, when three of the usual street preachers appeared, in company with a man in naval uniform with three stripes or badges on his arm, supposed to be a coastguard from Cleggan. All of them preached or blasphemed in turn, the whole party being under police protection.

The Clifden people never mind the meanderings of the ordinary street preacher, whom they believe to be trying to keep himself from the pursuit of a more criminal career; but when they saw a man wearing his Majesty’s uniform blaspheming and insulting, by his ignorance of the sacred Scriptures, then, indeed, they justly became indignant, particularly when they understood that he was being protected by those with whom they pay and maintain for other and different purposes.

If the man referred to were a coastguard he should not have spoken or appeared on the street as a preacher; and is he were a preacher, he should not have donned naval uniform.

And in either case, he should have been arrested and prosecuted by them. It is, however, expected that more will be heard of the matter.


Connemara flooding

Following a prolonged fall of heavy rain among the hills, flooding occurred in several places west of the Beanna Beola on Sunday evening. At Letterfrack, the road was flooded in places and some inconvenience was caused. Hundreds of people, including many visitors from hotels in the neighbourhood of Clifden, came to enjoy the magnificent spectacle of the Owenglin in flood at the cascade beside the town.

The road opposite the Ivy Hotel was flooded and people entering and leaving had to use a gate recently constructed by the management to provide against such an eventuality.

People living further along the terrace had to risk their lives by walking along several yards of the narrow and uneven wall-top above a dark swirling torrent. A great deal of land was flooded on the east side of the bridge.

Rate rise

The suggestion that the Tuam town rate will probably have to be increased from 1s. to 1s. 6d. will naturally not be popular, but in view of the big improvement taking place in housing, etc. following the erection of the Beet factory, it is hard to see how the public services such as lighting, street maintenance etc which have to be extended, can be maintained on the old town rate, which was only sufficient to meet the requirements when the population of the town was much smaller.

Water problems

Complaints regarding the water supply to the Ballinasloe Mental Hospital were made at a meeting of the committee of management of the institution. Dr. Mills, R.M.S. said that, as some of the older members were aware, he had been complaining about the water supply at the institution for a log time. It was dirty, muddy, peaty and of insufficient pressure.


Christian Brothers, Tuam, Secondary “A” School. All classes have now recommenced. Leaving Cert. Results 1935 – Presented 19 – Hons. 13 – Passes 5. Other results later.

Salthill carnival

At a meeting of the Salthill Development and Improvements Committee, arrangements were made for Salthill Gala Week, which is to be held from September 1 to September 8. It was decided to hold fireworks and aerial displays, as well as many other attractions. Salthill will assume a festive aspect for the week, gaily coloured lights illuminating the promenade etc.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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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BallinasloeÕs young squad aiming to floor Armagh junior champs

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

A new chapter in the history of Ballinasloe football will be written at Breffni Park, Cavan, on Sunday when Sean Riddell’s young side take on Ulster champions An Port Mor of Armagh in the All-Ireland Junior semi-final (2pm).

It’s the first competitive game outside the province of Connacht in 33 years for Galway football’s ‘sleeping giant’ with the enticing prospect of an appearance at Croke Park on February 9 on offer for the winners of what should be a competitive tie.

Ballinasloe have romped through Connacht since overcoming a couple of tricky hurdles on their way to collecting the Galway junior title, which was their target for the campaign this time last year.

With a return to Intermediate football secured, Riddell’s youngsters really have nothing to lose – while their triumphant march to county and provincial titles has revived memories of the club’s glory days when they contested three Galway senior finals in a row between 1979 and ’81.

Intriguingly, the seniors of St Grellan’s never got to play in Croke Park when they reached the All-Ireland final back in 1980 – they lost by 3-9 to 0-8 to St Finbarr’s of Cork in Tipperary Town.

This team’s progression has provided rich rewards for an abundance of hard work at underage levels in the past ten to 15 years and the current side’s ‘do or die’ attitude was very much in evidence in the cliffhanger wins over Tuam and Clifden in the domestic championship.


They are a well-balanced side who really never know when they are beaten and have an inspirational leader in county panelist Keith Kelly, whose exploits at centre back have been among the key components in their dramatic run to reach the All-Ireland series.

Riddell, who recalls playing senior football with the club during their heyday, is determined to get Ballinasloe back among the county’s leading clubs but, for the moment, he is delighted just to have a shot at getting to Croke Park in a bid to emulate Clonbur’s achievement in winning the title outright last year.

Riddell went to Newry on a ‘spying mission’ to see the Armagh champions overcome Brackaville of Tyrone by 2-9 to 0-11 in November – and was impressed by the quality of the football produced by An Port Mor in the Ulster final.

“They are a nicely balanced side who play good football,” he said. “There was a bit of the physical stuff you’d expect from two Ulster side, but I was impressed by their performance.”

An Port Mor became the first Armagh side to win the provincial junior decider. First half goals from Shane Nugent and Christopher Lennon sent them on the road to victory, before a red card for Brackaville captain Cahir McGuinness eased their progress to the All-Ireland series.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Coalition promised an ocean of reform Ð but the wind has gone out of its sails

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 30-Jan-2013


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