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December 22, 2009

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

New Dean

The recent appointment of a Catholic priest as Dean in Residence in the University College, Galway, emphasises the removal of the ban which the Church in her zeal for the spiritual interests of her children, decreed wise to place on the educational system administered in the old Queen’s College, and marks the dawn of a new era in the history of higher education on the West.

 

Christmas behind bars

John Joe Garry, a well-known Galway character, will spend his Christmas in prison. John Joe has often been before the court hitherto, but never for such a serious offence as that with which he was charged at the City Petty Sessions on Monday before Mr. Kilbride, R.M., Colonel Woods, and Mr. James M. Campbell, when he appeared in the dock for the larceny of £3 from an Aran Islander.

The story of the larceny was told by Pat Connelly, of Aran, who related that he came into Galway on the 18th December. On the following day, he went into Lydon’s public house with an Aran man. He took out his purse to pay for a drink, and left it on a half-barrel. He paid for the drink with a half-sovereign. Garry was in the shop at the time. Witness knew him well and gave him a penny.

When down as far as Cooke’s, witness missed his purse, and he went back and reported the matter to the publican’s son. They searched the shop, and Garry came back with the purse. Mr Lydon counted £6 in it; the remainder was missing. Garry said he did not take any money out of the purse.

Constable McGloin found the £3 note subsequently in a hole in the wall with a stone over it. The Chairman said they had the record of the accused before them, and Sergeant O’Neill said he had nothing to add to it (laughter).

The accused was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment with hard labour, the Chairman of the Court remarking that it was a mean larceny.

 

1934

Boisterous spirits

Christmas was celebrated, not wisely, but too well, by not a few in Galway and, because of the methods adopted in some cases to attract a wide audience to their displays of high spirits in the streets, it was only natural that Gardaí should be amongst those who witnessed the performances.

The next step in the scheme of things was to Eglinton Street Station, and here that boisterous spirit of gaiety quickly cooled off in the unsympathetic surroundings of a bare room.

Some of the festive ones became aggressive and some minor squabbles took place. One man was struck on the head with a bottle and was removed to the Central Hospital where he was detained.

 

Gaeltacht grants

The £2 grant for children in Gaelic-speaking houses is generally acclaimed as one of the most practical schemes that has become operational in the Gaeltacht. So far, it is not possible to ascertain how many will benefit in Connemara, but it is expected that the number will be very large.

From one school (Derryvoreada) at Recess, it is reported that £180 has been paid to date. The area is not wealthy, so the money has come at a welcome time.

 

Legion of Mary

A branch of the Legion of Mary has been established at Ballinasloe, having had the approval of the Bishop of the diocese. Rev. Fr. E. Hughes, Adm., St Michael’s, at last Mass on Sunday, spoke of the work and activities of the Legion in other parts of Ireland and throughout the world and said the cooperation and help of active Legionaries was needed to combat many of the evil influences which were at present creeping in and operating in the country.

 

Christmas rush

Business house owners in Ballinasloe report an extra rush during the Christmas holidays as compared to the past couple of years; there seems to be no shortage of money and there was an extra amount of shopping, and money was freely spent. There seemed to be no shortage of cash in the buying of Christmas presents, and the business houses in nearly all cases followed the old time custom of giving customers ‘Christmas boxes’ or presents.

 

 

For more, read page 22 of this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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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Moment of truth for Galway U21s

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 01-May-2013

 Dara Bradley

FOUR matches, four victories, one after extra-time, a Connacht title, four goals and 56 points scored, four goals and 30 points conceded, a heap of wides from their opponents, sinews strained, buckets of sweat and blood spilled.

It’s been one hell of a roller coaster campaign for the Galway U21 footballers but all that will be forgotten come 7pm on Saturday evening at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick when they cross swords with Cork for the honour of being crowned Cadbury’s All-Ireland champions.

Six weeks ago as Galway set out on their 2013 U21 journey against Sligo in Tuam, the May Bank Holiday weekend final was always the target. They took each game as it came and now it has come down to this – 60 minutes of football to decide who the best U21 team in the land is.

And while there were times along the way when Alan Flynn’s charges looked like they’d fall off the wagon, against Mayo, against Roscommon and again against Kildare, Galway showed resilience and mental strength to time and again bounce back and defy the odds. Often down, never out. It is that perseverance that will stand to Galway in the heat of battle this weekend.

Cork has won an All-Ireland at this grade more times than any other county since the competition’s inception in the 1960s. The most recent of their 11 titles was won in 2009, and they’ve claimed a three-in-a-row of Munster titles with a defeat of Tipperary last month.

Interestingly, five players – Alan Cronin, Jamie Wall, John O’Rourke, Tom Clancy and Damien Cahalene, the son of former inter-county player Niall – that are expected to start this Saturday lined out in each of the last three Munster finals, so they have experience of playing in the pressure cauldrons.

Galway aren’t as experienced. True, a couple of players already have a All-Ireland medal from 2011 – a year Galway beat Cork in the semi-final – but there are a lot of young guns in the panel. Of the squad of 33, about 19 of them are young enough to play U21 next year as well, while eight or nine of the starting 15 will be eligible next year, although you wouldn’t think it given the levelheadedness they’ve displayed throughout the past six weeks.

Galway had plenty to spare over a hapless Sligo outfit in Tuam the first day out, winning by 16 points, which didn’t flatter them, but old rivals Mayo in the following game at the same venue was a different story. After a tense and tight hour of fare, Galway took the spoils after showing immense character to dig it out by two points in a dogfight, 0-9 to 0-7.

Fighting qualities were needed again in the Connacht final in Hyde Park against Roscommon – Galway were minutes from being knocked out of the championship when a heroic comeback, three points in as many minutes from Kilkerrin/Clonberne’s Shane Walsh, rescued extra-time, a period which Galway never looked like losing.

The Tribesmen took their chances when they presented themselves, a trait that also saw them knock-out Kieran McGeeney’s highly rated and much fancied Kildare outfit in a thriller at Tullamore a fortnight ago.

The Lilywhites were wasteful, true, but that’s their problem, and Galway just had too much natural footballing class to take their chances and emerge with a deserved five points, 2-10 to 2-5 victory, despite 19 wides from the vanquished.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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GalwayÕs U-13 and U-16 sides both through to national finals

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 14-May-2013

Mike Rafferty

It proved to be a very successful weekend for Galway Schoolboy soccer as two representative sides qualified for national finals at the end of the month.

It was drama all the way in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday afternoon as the U-13 side drew 1-1 with the Midlands League, but came through the dreaded penalty shootout to prevail by 5-4.

 

Meanwhile the U-16 side had to travel to Cork, where they emerged 2-1 winners following a very impressive performance. For the second game in succession, it was the goals of the Connolly brothers that proved crucial to both team’s success.

Andrew lines out with the U-16 side and he notched both their scores in terrific away win, while younger brother Aaron was on target for the U-13 side and also converted the winning spot kick.

Mervue United captured a third consecutive Connacht Youth Cup with an impressive 4-1 win over Castlebar Celtic in Milebush on Saturday.

SFAI U-13 INTER LEAGUE SEMI FINAL

Galway League 1

Midlands League 1

(AET-Galway won 5-4 on pens)

A low scoring contest might indicate few chances, but one has to credit two outstanding defences whose splendid covering and marshalling of the front men was a joy to watch.

Galway’s Oisin McDonagh and Adam Rooney never put a foot wrong in central defence, while full-backs Byron Lydon and Matthew Tierney were equally efficient in defence, and getting forward with regular forays.

Further afield, they matched the visitors in terms of intensity and creativity and in the second half in particular should have pulled away from a Midlands side that won the U-12 national title last year.

The visitors certainly offered the greater attacking threat in the opening half, but found home custodian Mark Greaney in top form. Galway’s best chance fell to Joshua Quinlivan, but he pulled an effort wide of the target.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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