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Archive News

December 10, 2009



Date Published: {J}

United Irish

An important meeting under the auspices of the local branch of the United Irish League was held at Headford on Sunday last. The meeting, though organised for the purpose of re-organising the parish branch, was attended by a large number of people who, in their frequent outbursts of applause in the course of the eloquent speeches delivered, displayed an enthusiastic spirit.

Bravery reward

Mr. Michael Fallon, of Salthill, has received a sum of £5 from the Carnegie Trust Fund for his bravery in rescuing Patrick Burke from drowning off the Sea Point Baths on the afternoon of Friday, August 20th last. Burke has gone out in a small boat some minutes previously with a neighbour named Denis McGrath, and when opposite the Sea Point Baths, the craft capsized and both men were thrown into the sea.

Fallon swam through one hundred and fifty yards of choppy sea, reaching the boat to which Burke clung, and sustained himself in safety until help arrived. Poor McGrath, who had tried to swim ashore on an oar, was drowned before help could reach him.

Fireman accident

Fireman Cummins, while engaged in pumping water into the engine for the 4.25 train from Galway on Saturday last at Athenry, fell from the buffer of the engine on to the platform and sustained injuries to his head. He was in the act of removing the hose from the engine at the time, and the hose gave way. He was conveyed to the County Hospital at Galway by the 8.50 train on Saturday night, where he was detained for treatment. He is now progressing favourably.

Animated pictures

Full houses were the order at the Court Theatre, Galway, during the week, the “draw” being the cinematography performances and variety entertainments of “The Enterprise Animated Picture Co.”. Rarely has such an opportunity been given to the people of Galway of viewing in animated pictures the most sensational events of real life and drama.

The “animated” pictures from real life include “Logging in Sweden” and “Boxing Champions”. Other pictures included: “A Little Child Shall Lead Them”, “Nocturnal Thieves”, “The Human Wheel”, “Following in Father’s Footsteps”, “A Constable Please”, “The Pony Express” and “Fairy Presents”.

The pictures come in ever-changing variety and there are no exasperating delays.


Crafty fox

The fox has been busy in Connemara this year, and flocks of geese, turkeys, hens and other fowl are reported to have suffered severe ravages. One man reports that he has so far shot three foxes not far from Clifden, yet his fowl continues to disappear. Another farmer not far away has lost 23 hens, and there are innumerable cases throughout the area where smaller losses are reported.

Home assistance

At the monthly meeting of the County Galway Board of Health and Public Assistance, the secretary, Mr. S. O’Gallcobhair said he had applied to the County Council for an instalment of the Council’s contribution to the Board and Mr O’Flynn had replied stating he could not understand why it should be wanted now as, in view of the unemployment assistance, home assistance should be reduced considerably.

Beet factory opens

Tuam enjoyed an historic day in the great Irish industrial revival movement when on Tuesday His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gilmartin, the Archbishop blessed the works, and Dr. Seamus Ryan, Minister for Agriculture, performed the official ceremony of opening the beet factory.

The town was gaily decorated with bunting, and flags were flown from practically every shop and house on the route to the factory. Owing to the lamented death of the Rev. Peter J. Kelly, Adm., who had been so prominently identified with the promotion of the case for having the factory established in Tuam, no bands were engaged to take part in the rejoicing.

Gaelicisation of Galway

“That we are of opinion that the time has arrived when an earnest attempt must be made to Gaelicise Galway City, capital of the Gaedhealtacht, and we demand that as a preliminary step all streets and public places in the city having any trace of the foreign connection in their names be altered to names in keeping with national tradition and the history of our country,”

The above resolution was passed at the annual meeting of the mid-Galway Comhairle Ceanntair, Fianna Fáil, Dr. T. Powell, ex-T.D., presiding.

For more times past see page 34 of 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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