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Archive News

August 2, 2012



Date Published: 01-Aug-2012


Titanic tragedy

Judgement was given on Tuesday by Lord Mersey, Chairman of the British Commission, into the loss of the Titanic.

The court found that the loss of the vessel was due to a collision with an iceberg, brought about by the excessive speed at which the ship was navigated at the time. It was probable that the life of the ship would have been lengthened somewhat if the watertight doors had been left open, for water would have flown through them.

Lord Mersey stated that if the California, when she saw the rockets, pushed through the ice to the open water, as she could have done without serious risk, she could have given assistance to the Titanic, and might have saved many, if not all the lives that were lost.

With regard to Captain Smith, the President said, in maintaining speed and trusting to a sharp look out he made a very grievous mistake, but one which, in face of practice and past experience, negligence cannot be said to have had any part and in the absence of negligence, it was impossible, in his opinion, to fix Captain Smith with blame.

Canal rescue

On Wednesday, a woman of the tramp class, hailing from Waterford, attempted to commit suicide by throwing herself into the canal at Raven Terrace off Dominick Street. She was shortly after rescued by a visitor named Glennon who is at present staying at Mr. Cloherty’s private hotel. Mr. Glennon divested himself of his clothing and pluckily jumped in after the woman, whom he rescued with much difficulty.

When brought to the bank, the woman appeared to have suffered little as a result of her immersion. She was subsequently placed under arrest by the Dominick Street Police, brought before Mr. J.S Young, J.P., and remanded on the charge of attempted suicide for seven days.


The final arrangements preparatory to the opening of the Bazaar in aid of the Abbey Church have been completed and the Square, where the Bazaar will be held, should be a magnetic centre of attraction to the citizens and visitors who will throng through the city for the races.



While ‘bus, boat and motor took hundreds of people away from Galway for the August bank holiday week-end, train, ‘bus, and motor brought a huge influx of visitors from all parts of Ireland for a holiday in the West. A broiling sun shone down on Sunday morning on streams of privately owned cars purring along all main roads leading into the city, while trains from a number of towns and cities flew over the rails to the western capital.

Race Week arrests

There was a general round up of vagrants in Galway City on the eve of the races. In parts of the city where they had already begun their Race Week “celebrations” several arrests were made.

Scenes of rowdyism broke out in a few places on Tuesday night, but the guards stepped in and put an end to affairs. While a number of men were detained pending a special district court on Friday morning, the feminine element was removed beyond the outskirts of the city.

Salthill diving accident

A large crowd witnessed a thrilling rescue at Blackrock, Galway, on Saturday evening, when James Cranny, an employee of the Jesuit Fathers, Sea Road, Galway, who was injured when he dived off the spring board and struck the bottom, was brought safely ashore by Tom Lynskey and Eddie Lee.

Mr Cranny was unconscious when taken from the water, and was immediately rushed by car to Seamount Hospital, Salthill. He was later removed to the Central Hospital, Galway where his neck was found to be badly fractured.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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