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December 1, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Bad literature

At Tuam Board of Guardians, the Chairman proposed the following: –

“That we, the members of the Tuam Board of Guardians hereby express our approval of the crusade against the importation of evil literature into this country.

The baneful influence which an objectionable Press exercises on the moral characteristics of a populace is certain to have a demoralising effect, and the movement inaugurated in Limerick against the evil is one deserving of the support of the public bodies of Ireland, and by this expression and endorsement of their action, we hope the desired results will be obtained.”

In proposing the resolution, the Chairman said it was their duty to take action in this matter. They had plenty of healthy literature to read in the publications of the Catholic Truth Society stalls at their churches, in the Local Press, etc.

Mr. Larkin seconded the resolution, which was passed unanimously.

Bad roads

At a meeting of Ballinasloe Urban Council, Chairman A.D. Cahill said: I am glad to see the roads are pulling up and improving. I travelled from Ballinasloe to Ahascragh yesterday and I saw three miles of road around Annaghbog that there was not a a shovel of stones put on since last April. The ruts are fully six inches deep, and the horses are up to their bellies on it.

Mr. Elder: I agree.

Chairman: It is a living disgrace. I would ask you to pass a vote of censure on the County Council. It is a bad omen of Home Rule to throw everything into one man’s hands. It is scandalous to have a leading road from Ballinasloe in such a state. I myself pass a vote of censure on the County Council and on Mr. Moran for their neglect of this road.

Me. Beegan: One man cannot do all the work.

Mr Byrne: I say it is not Mr. Moran’s fault. He attends to his work properly. No matter what supervision he has he cannot get the work done.

Mr. Beegan: It was reported that Mr. Moran did not visit this road.

Mr. Byrne; The only quarrel that we had with Mr. Moran up to the present is that he has been over-officious. We didn’t admit he has too much ground to cover.

Clerk: We cannot get a contractor to take this road, although we increase the amount to £90.

Mr. Byrne: That makes it different.


Burned to death

That death was due to shock and injuries from burns, which were accidental, was the verdict of the Coroner, Dr. Cusack, sitting without a jury at St. Brendan’s Terrace, Ballinasloe, on a 2 years and 8 months old boy.

The mother of the child said the children were in bed upstairs, when she left the house for a few minutes, the father having gone to work.

When she returned, she found the child screaming and his clothes alight. She pulled the clothes off him and rolled him in a sheet. He was then badly burned and died in a few hours. The child must have come downstairs while she was out, as she found some pieces of burned timber which he had pulled from the fire.

Dr. Daly, M.O., who was early on the scene, said the child had expansive burns on the face and body. He did all he could for it, but there was then little hope for it, and he reported the matter to the Guards. Nurse O’Grady, who attended the child and called in the doctor, also gave evidence.

Road building

Over forty men commenced road-building at Camus on Monday under the new relief works scheme by which it is hoped to obviate the necessity of “dole”. Further employment will be shortly afforded in other areas.

Silver fox

While stalking wild geese at Ballinaboy on Monday night, John Conroy and Francis Faherty, Clifden, aroused and shot a silver fox weighing 58 lbs. The fox is presumed to have been also interested in the wild geese, and his splendid condition suggests that his interest was decidedly material.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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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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