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Archive News

August 8, 2012



Date Published: 08-Aug-2012


Races week

Race week in Galway, with the exception of the shocking murder at Newcastle and the fatal accident on the Railway line at Renmore, was a particularly quiet one.

Wednesday night was probably the quietest first night of the races ever experienced in Galway, probably due to the regrettable fact that a number of the favourites came croppers during the day.

A matter that also tended to the peace of the city was the extra supervision and regulation of traffic by the police.

Brutal murder

Race week in Galway has been darkened by the discovery of what appears to be a most callous and brutal crime; of a character happily rare in the annals of Ireland. Shortly before one o’clock yesterday, there was discovered lying in a field at Newcastle, at the back of the Galway Workhouse, the dead body of a woman.

The woman appeared to be between 40 and 45 years of age. Her hair is slightly tinged with grey. Her clothes were very much dishevelled, while her body was mutilated.

Everything pointed to a desperate struggle, and it is suggested that either robbery or outrage may have been the motive of the crime. Her dress was almost torn off her, portion of it being in shreds, while a fur boa that she was wearing around her neck was cut in two.

The body still lies where it was found.


Taxi fare

Is ten shillings an exorbitant charge for a motor from Galway Docks to Salthill with a party of four at five o’clock in the morning?

That such a charge was made was a complaint contained in a letter from Mrs. Emerson, of the Eglington Hotel, Salthill, read at a meeting of the Galway Harbour Commissioners on Monday.

The secretary, Mr. J. S. Campbell, told the meeting that he had sent copies of the letter to the Irish Tourist Association and to Seamus de Bhilmot, town clerk and secretary of the Galway branch of the I.T.A – The commissioners present expressed the view that where proof was forthcoming of exorbitant charges being made, the car owners concerned should not be allowed to the docks.

In vain

A wife of a farmer of Whitegate, on the border of Clare and Galway; who claimed to be a cousin of a man who died in Sydney in June 1913, and whose estate is now worth £45,000 has had her clain disallowed.

Mr. W. A. Parker, the Sydney Master-in-Equity, has declared in favour of the New South Wales Public Trustee, who submitted that the claims were not proved.


Patients visit shrine

On Friday, patients from Merlin Park Sanatorium will, through the kindness of an anonymous Belgian lady and the rehabilitation Institution of Ireland, travel on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Banneux in Belgium.

There they will spend five days in the care of the Shrine Society, returning home on August 16th.

Banneux lies a few miles south east of Leige. In 1933 Our Lady appeared on eight occasions to Mariette Beco, one of a family of seven children.

Donkey derby

No speed records were set at the annual Donkey Derby in Pearse Stadium, Salthill, Galway on Sunday but the large attendance did get value for their money.

Like the Lough Atalia Development Association, the sponsors of the event, the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Pearse Stadium Committee, proved that the public will support any kind of novelty performance properly presented.

In the old days this event was known as the asses race and on Monday this was very true because the real stars of the performance were the asses. They were not interested in rules or regulations and competition just didn’t concern them. In fact, they gave the impression of being bored stiff by the whole affair. When the starter’s gun went off they wouldn’t start and more often than not when they did start they went in the wrong direction.


Bus strike

An estimated 7,500 Galway commuters are without city and provincial bus services for a third day in a row, as a result of a dispute between bus drivers and C.I.E management over the operation of larger capacity driver only single deck buses.

Pickets were mounted and Ceannt Station yesterday morning which halted the seven city bus routes to Ballybane, Rahoon, Salthill, Castlepark, Lisbeg Lawn, Merlin Park and Renmore. Provincial services to Carraroe, Clifden, Eyrecourt, Lisdoonvara and Mountbellew were also affected.

High temperatures

MET Office figures for July show that temperatures were above normal and rainfall significantly below normal in Galway.

After the washouts of the last two summers, rainfall was 30% below normal for July in the Galway region but parts of the South-East received only a quarter of the usual inches of rain for July.

Temperatures for the first time in two years were above average with the weekend of July 4/5 proving the driest and hottest so far this year.

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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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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