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City Gardaí stand firm in face of pubs furore

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Date Published: 16-Aug-2012

BY DARA BRADLEY

Galway Gardaí have moved to clarify that nothing has changed in relation to the closing hours of the city’s bars, ‘late night’ pubs or nightclubs amid claims that jobs will be lost in the hospitality industry due to stricter enforcement.

Garda sources say that the existing licensing laws governing late night opening of pubs and nightclubs have possibly been enforced more rigorously in the past couple of weeks, but nothing has changed in terms of the actual law on opening hours – late pubs and clubs can open until 2am Friday and Saturday and 1am the rest of the week, if they have special exemptions.

Local pub and nightclub workers have launched an online campaign highlighting the implementation of the licensing laws with more zeal as being a threat to their livelihoods. “Galway will be effectively closed down during the week,” said the founder of the online petition ‘Stop Early Closing for Pubs and Clubs in Galway’.

A spokesperson at Galway Garda Station confirmed that inspections of late night premises in the city centre had been carried out in recent weeks to ensure they are complying with licensing laws in relation to opening hours, and in particular late night exemptions. There were no prosecutions pending following the inspections carried out at night in bars and pubs in the city in the past month, he said.

The Garda spokesperson moved to clarify the opening hours of pubs and nightclubs. He explained that pubs with a seven-day normal licence can open from 10.30am until 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, 10.30am to 12.30am on Friday and Saturday, and from 12.30pm to 11pm on Sunday. Late bars and nightclubs can apply to the District Court for what’s called special exemptions, which allow those premises to serve alcohol up to 1am on Monday through to Thursday and from 2am on Friday and Saturday – the exemption is 1am on a Sunday.

He said there was no distinction between a nightclub or a late bar and both types of businesses must apply for this special exemption and close by 1am Monday to Thursday and 2am Friday and Saturday.

“I don’t know what the fuss is about or why there is a furore. This has been the case for years, late bars and nightclubs apply to the District Court for special exemptions, and that is 1am up to Thursday and 2am on Friday and Saturday. It has been the same for years and publicans and certainly their solicitors who apply for the special exemptions on their behalf know exactly what the closing time is. There should be no confusion,” said the Garda spokesperson.

 

Each District Court has different opening hours, which is set by the District Court judge, which is why Cork and Dublin have later opening times than Galway.

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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