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Award-winning city animator mounts new exhibition at Westside Library



Date Published: 02-Aug-2012

Galway based award-winning animator John Jennings has an exhibition in the Westside Library in the city for the month of August.

It is the complete volume one of ‘Lost Lidy – A Lovely Girl In A Hard World’.

Lidy is an old fashioned administrator, settled in her ways. But suddenly she becomes unemployed. Lidy has to enter the world of signing on, searching for jobs and employment agencies. However, she does not change her attitude and is as assertive as ever, which is not good if you are trying to give her some helpful advice.

Lidy also has an overactive imagination and sometimes is prone to flights of fancy or horror. The fancy being her opinion of herself and the horror being her impression of her future.

Also on her adventure, Lidy encounters different people in different organizations, and she is not afraid to tell them what she thinks.

What will happen to Lost Lidy ?

John Jennings is from Galway and has always had a keen interest in animation. When he was in primary school he used to get jokes published on the letter pages of his favourite comics such as ‘Topper’ and ‘Eagle’.

To the dismay of his art teachers, John’s love for animation dominated his artwork throughout his education. In school they taught painting, but John was more fond of line art and pens and markers, most of the time he just painted surreal landscapes and creatures in class which did not please the teachers too much.


However, outside of school time, John persisted with his pens and markers. As a child and teen he entered and won art competitions locally and nationally. He won a national contest run by the RTE Guide and his drawing of a haunted castle was made into a jigsaw. Locally he was a prizewinner in a Fortycoats and Fathers Day colouring competitions in the City / Connacht Tribune.

During his schooldays one of John’s favourite haunts was The Four Corners / Powells in the city.

“For some reason in the ’80s they used to have really cheap American comic books on a low shelf just inside the door, and sometimes in a box in the same area. They were cheap and colourful and had lots of cool superheroes and stories in them, of course it was impossible to follow a specific comic as the issues and comics supplied were very random, but, luckily there were lots of full feature ones, with complete stories, I really enjoyed the stories and art work.


“So, what I would do is, once a week, after school on my trek from the Bish to the bus in Eyre Square, armed with my pocket money, I would pop into the shop, quickly snap up and pay for the comics I fancied and then continue quickly to the bus stop in the hope that my comic book detour hadn’t made me late … buying comic books became a mini-adventure in itself!”

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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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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