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December 2, 2009



Date Published: {J}

On Monday morning a gas explosion occurred at the residence of Mr Alan McDonald, C.E., St. Francis Street, but happily none of the inmates sustained any personal injury. The house, a large one, situated at the corner of St. Francis Street and Eyre Street, was damaged to some extent, and two rooms on the ground floor, where the explosion took place, were injured, five windows being blown out and part of the flooring ripped up. Mrs. McDonald, her sister, and a servant, were the only occupants of the house at the time. The furniture was scattered about the two rooms.

Galway Fair

On Wednesday last, a fair for cattle sheep and pigs was held at Eyre Square. It was principally a pig fair, and was well attended both by buyers and sellers. In the early hours of the morning buyers were busy, and before morning broke over 500 pigs were trucked. From 50s to 57s was given, and the demand was good. All were sold.

The cattle and sheep were not a large market. Buyers were numerous, but were dissatisfied with the number of stock exposed. It behoves the people of the surrounding districts to patronise those fairs, and so help in making them the premier fairs of the West.

Cattle nuisance

The Medical Officer of Galway Urban Council reported a nuisance existing at Abbey lane, through cattle being kept too near dwellinghouses. Mr. Maloney: They are a good distance from Mr. Young’s house.Chairman: I am sorry you are not a sanitary officer (laughter).

Mr. Curran: Although we are not sanitary officers, we have a good idea of things. What did he say about Glynn’s premises?

Mr. Redington: He said they were insanitary.

Chairman: There is no use in us having officers if we do not adopt their reports.

Mr Curran: I do not see why poor people should be prevented from keeping cattle and selling milk.

Mr. Cooke: How far are the stables from the bedroom?Mr. Waters: About five or six yards.

The report was adopted.

Burning money

Still another burning is reported from Connemara. On the night of Monday last, or early on the morning of Tuesday, the house of Mr. Hector Graham, of Derrykyle, Letterfrack, was burned to the ground. Mr. Graham is a most popular young gentleman.

For some time past he was concerned in some litigation. It is said that all his money and chattels have been burned, no assistance having been at hand, and it is added that a large amount of compensation will be claimed.


Milk budget

Eighty families in Ballinasloe urban area are in receipt of free milk for which the Department has allocated £410 for the year 1934 and ’35. As the regulations restrict the amount for any one family to two pints per day, and the recipients to children under five years of age, the Urban Council Committee, who are responsible for the administration of the scheme in the sanitary area, find that they are unable to spend this amount.

The Council have asked the Ministry to extend the scheme so that children over five years who are, in their opinion, as equally deserving as those under five years, would be entitled to receive milk.

Turkey prices

The distribution of free meat has already had its effect on poultry prices, and good turkeys could be bought at Ballinasloe market on Saturday at 5d. per lb.; choice birds were sold at 6d. Sellers held out late in the day on Saturday last hoping that some outside buyers would attend, and eventually sold the birds to local purchasers at 5d. and 6d. per lb. There is believed to be large quantities of turkeys for market in the district, and in many country districts card games are held where turkeys of 10 to 12 lbs. weight are the prize.

Meat factory

It is understood that Mr. F. Fahy, T.D., Ceann Comhairle, is to visit Loughrea on Friday next in connection with the new factory which the Town Commissioners are seeking to establish here. It is likely that Mr. Fahy will confer with the committee set up by the local Industrial Development Association as to the possibilities of a tinned meat factory, already suggested, a suitable site and the amount of capital which the Association could hope to realise to finance the project.

It is believed if the factory in question can be established a large number of the farming community in the districts around Loughrea will be prepared to assist financially the project.

World champions

Besides the Reeves’ Cup, which the Galway Gaelic footballers received when they won the World’s Championship from New York’s great team, the Galwegians were presented in New York with a set of beautiful medals by the NY GAA at a reception in Donovan’s Grand Circle Halls, attended by more than one thousand guests.

The world champions left New York on the “President Harding” on their return journey to Ireland on Tuesday night. If all goes well, Galway will play Kildare on December 8, and as this will be the first appearance of the champions following their return from America the game will have exceptional appeal.

For more Days Gone By see page 34 of this week’s edition.

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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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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