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December 17, 2010

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: {J}

Forestry protest

Rev. Dr. Kielty, P.P., presided at a meeting at Ballygar to protest against the block in the distribution of the Bagot estate by the Agricultural Board purchasing Aughrane Castle and 300 acres of demesne to establish a scheme of forestry.

Amongst the resolutions was one expressing dissatisfaction at the way in which the Estates Commissioners dealt with the arable lands within the demesne, and calling them to distribute these in accordance with the agreement.

Strength in unity

All earnest Nationalists in the town of Loughrea will rejoice to find the Loughrea Town Tenants’ Association and the United Irish League uniting together in the endeavour to effect the sale of the town.

The meeting on Friday night was characterised by unanimity and a brisk and business-like discussion that should mark every meeting held under the National banner for progressive purposes.

Intemperance evil

At a sermon, the Bishop of Galway, Most Rev. Dr. O’Dea, said that of all the evils that beset Irish life, none had done so much injury as intemperance. Intemperance appeared to be the one failing of the Irish people.

“But, thank God, the great wave of temperance that has spread all over the West has altered this. Public opinion has at last been aroused, and the people now looked upon drink with a feeling of disgust,” he said.

After sobriety, he did not think there was any virtue more necessary than public justice. Everything had been taken from us in the past, but by degrees we were regaining the power of ruling ourselves.

Councillor charged

At a special court held at Galway on last Friday morning before Mr. J. Kilbride, R.M., Mr. James Delaney, R.D.C., secretary Castlegar branch, United Irish League, was charged on remand with distributing intimidatory notices at Castlegar.


Bogslide danger

It is feared that if the heavy rains experienced in South Galway for the past week continues there is grave danger of another move at the Killenena bog. Several acres which are surrounded by high hills and mountains where there was a previous bog slide are at present menacing, and the shaky nature of the surface would indicate that the bog is waterlogged. The recent heavy rains have caused floods in the district and there are large areas under water for the past week. Precautions are being taken lest the bog may again move.

Film prosecution

At Glenamaddy District Court before Mr. H. Hamilton, D.J., Bracey Daniels, proprietor of a travelling cinema show, was prosecuted under the Censorship Film Act 1926 for having on November 3 shown a film entitled “The White Devil” in Glenamaddy Town Hall without having shown the Official Censor’s certificate before the picture was shown.

Defendant said that as he was about to put the film into the machine it broke and the part of the Censor’s certificate could not be inserted. He told the Justice that a film had been banned on him in Ballyjamesduff. He had been 28 years touring the country and had never been prosecuted before.

The Justice said the offence was a technical one, and whilst the guards were right in bringing the case, he would not break the defendant’s good record and he dismissed the case.

Tourist traffic

The Christmas tourist traffic is now in full swing and the numbers disembarking at our ports from Atlantic liners are considerably larger than in previous. The Scythia – a Cunard liner – arrived at Galway on Saturday last and disembarked 104 passengers. At Cobh on Sunday, 35 passengers were landed.

The other trans-Atlantic steamship companies express satisfaction with the numbers who are travelling to Ireland for the Christmas. On Wednesday, the General Von Steuben arrived in Galway with a large continent, and the Brittanic is also expected to carry a large number of visitors.

Poteen seizure

Guards from Galway carried out a raid for poteen in the Moycullen area on Saturday morning and discovered a few gallons of the spirit on an island on the Corrib. Wash and paraphernalia for the manufacture of poteen were also discovered and seized, but no arrests were made.


For more read page 36 of this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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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Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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