Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Councillors press officials to remove camp before Volvo



Date Published: 15-May-2012


Concerns that the Occupy Galway protest camp in Eyre Square should be removed before the Volvo Ocean Race grand finale next month were expressed last night when the members of Galway City Council passed their third notice of motion in relation to the issue.

Councillors said that there was an urgency attached to the issue, almost seven months after the camp was set up, after pointing out that the “eyes of the world” would be on  the city during the Volvo  festival from June 30 to July  8.

At the end of a heated debate which lasted an hour, the Councillors voted 12-3 to leave the matter in the hands of the interim City Manager, Joe O’Neill, who said he had commenced action against the encampment.

Cllr Padraig Conneely (FG) raised the issue after claiming that 25 businesses in the Eyre Square area had responded unanimously that the encampment should be removed, in a survey which he carried out at the start of this month.

“Why, after seven months, are we the only city in the world where no action has been taken?” he asked. “Why, Manager, are you not showing courage on this issue? I have been raising this issue for the past six months. This council is allowing this ‘shanty town’ to continue while rate-payers in the area are paying millions.”

He was backed by Cllr Ollie Crowe (FF), who said it was “totally unacceptable” that a public space could be “occupied by an element in Eyre Square” for such a long time.

“We should have ‘gone’ on the same day as Dublin and Waterford,” said Cllr Crowe. “We are 45 days away from the Volvo now. What I want now is action and for our city to look as good as it can on the first week in July.”

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said he could not understand why the Gardai had not moved the encampment on, as they had done in other cities.

“If the traveller community had moved into Eyre Square six months ago I can guarantee they would have been removed by now,” said Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind). “This is the last ‘occupation’ in the country as far as I know.”

Mr O’Neill said that the process of removing the camp was in train and he did not wish to say more in a public forum at this stage.

“I am doing what I can and what I have to do,” he said. “I am not going to be discussing this issue in front of the public. I am not going to answer your questions here.”

Cllr Conneely had some heated exchanges with Cllr Catherine Connolly (Ind), who claimed he was using council time to “move principled people from Eyre Square” at a time when the local authority had more urgent business to deal with.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads