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Archive News

August 6, 1969



Date Published: 06-Aug-2010

1910 Races accidents

We regret to have record a number of accidents during Race Week. We must confess that whilst the police displayed much efficiency in dealing with the traffic on the route to and from the racecourse, there was a lamentable lack of control of the city traffic on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and those who had control of cars did very little towards a careful observance of the “rule of the road”.

If this rule were strictly enforced at all times by the police, much of the street accidents might be avoided. At various times during the week, about half a dozen collisions occurred.

Dressed for fight

Dominick Street barrack had three in the lock-up on Wednesday for drunkenness and seven last night. The principal delinquents were inhabitants of Munster-lane where a fierce row was kept up during both nights of the races.

One individual, dressed for fight, violently resisted arrest and had to be carried on all fours to the barracks. There was not a single cue in Eglinton st. lockup last night, and less than half a dozen on Wednesday.

“It was,” said an old policeman, “one of the quietest race weeks we have ever had in Galway.”

1935 Carnival week

Ballybrit, Galway’s famous racecourse, has again made history, or, perhaps, we should say, it has just been the scene of one of the greatest events in the history of the Irish Turf. The annual race meeting at this venue is one for which it can be claimed that it has achieved success in a wider form than any other race meeting in these islands.

This year’s meeting, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday, may not, perhaps, have been the biggest yet held on the famous Galway course, but its success in all respects was well in keeping with the best tradition of the venue. There was a large entry and a good field for all the races and the attendance was much higher than that of any year since 1921.

Never previously has such a vast stream of motor traffic been seen in the city that that which poured through its streets on Wednesday and Thursday on the way to Ballybrit. There were cars from all parts of the country and many which had been brought in by tourists from countries outside.

About 150 extra Guards were drafted into the city to cope with the traffic, and the fact that no serious accident occurred was a tribute to the capable manner in which they carried out the arrangements.

1960 Salthill litter

At Wednesday’s meeting of Galway Corporation, Mr. M. Divilly complained that cardboard containers from an automatic machine at Salthill were being thrown about and had blocked the shore there recently. Visitors cleared the shore with golf clubs.

1985 Race Week crime

Thieves got away with thousands of pounds in cash, clothes and jewellery in a series of daring raids in a packed Galway and Salthill this week. And Gardaí are also trying to trace a quantity of forged £10 notes which appeared in Salthill and Forster Street at the beginning of the week.

It was mainly the holidaymakers who felt the brunt of the criminals’ robberies in Salthill – many of them were robbed in hotel bedrooms while they slept peacefully through the whole affair.


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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