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December 13, 2012



Date Published: 12-Dec-2012


Bank clerk sentenced

At the Connacht Winter Assizes in Limerick, a bank clerk who pleaded guilty to the forgery of three promissory notes for £25, £15 and £10, was put forward to receive sentence.

Mr. J.B. Powell, K.C., said the accused, who was a clerk in the Bank of Ireland branch at Sligo, bore an excellent character up to this, and was held in great regard by the officials.

He was well connected, and his relatives intended to send him to Canada to retrieve his position. The accused lost the money through, unfortunately, having been tempted to fall into the habit of betting.

Canon Ardill, Sligo, and the manager of the Sligo branch gave the prisoner an excellent character.

His Lordship expressed regret that he did not find himself able to deal with the prisoner under the First Offenders Act. In the present case the bank was at a serious loss. Over £600 had been lost to the bank by the acts of the prisoner, and all the money had gone into the pockets of the betting fraternity.

Bookmakers had got all the money because the prisoner got into debt with them through betting. Then, for the purpose of raising the money to pay the debts, the prisoner forged the names of depositors who had a little money in the bank, they being absolutely ignorant of the proceeding.

The sentence of the Court was that the accused should be imprisoned for twelve months, and kept at hard labour.


Arctic weather

A spell of Arctic weather was experienced in Connemara over the weekend. There was a heavy covering of snow on the Twelve Pins on Saturday morning and a light sprinkling lay on the foothills.

While a motor lorry from Galway was travelling from Maam Cross to Recess on Saturday night, a heavy shower of hailstones swept down suddenly from the hills and so completely blinded the driver’s vision that the vehicle collided with the bank and upset across the road.

New Mayor

Alderman J.F. Costello, M.P.S.I., H.C., Vicar’s Croft, Taylor’s Hill, Galway (Independent Business) was, at the first meeting of Galway’s new Corporation on Thursday, unanimously elected the Right Worshipful, the Mayor of Galway. The meeting was held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, where just three weeks ago, the last meeting of the Urban Council was held.

The Mayor said: “This meeting marks a new era in the history of Galway and I hope that we will not betray the trust that has been placed upon us by the people of the city. I will do my utmost to justify your confidence and the confidence of the electors (applause).”

Furbo House bought

Furbo House, the well-known Galway building and landmark, has been purchased from the Department of Education by Mr. J.P. Digby, the well-known Dublin businessman and lover of sport.

Mr. Digby was surprised that the news of his purchase had leaked out. When I approached him in his office and informed him that the people of Galway were anxious to know if it were correct that he had purchased Furbo, he replied with a laugh: “It is, but how did it get out?

“I like Galway and Connemara very much. I spend a good deal of time there fishing, and of course my wife is from Galway, which adds to the pleasure. There is a very nice demesne and fine wooded area attached to the house. It is a lovely place in summer. I am sure I shall go to live in the place yet,” he said.


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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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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