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December 30, 2009

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Date Published: {J}

Pig problem

The townspeople of Athenry have a serious grievance in connection with the pig markets, and the sooner this grievance is remedied the better, if the people are not to go back to Paganism.

It has been the custom of the country people for some time past to bring in their pigs to Athenry the night previous to the fair or market, and some of the shopkeepers give stabling to their country customers and friends.

 On Sunday last, it was lamentable from a religious point of view to see the large number of country carts which arrived in town for Monday’s pig market. While the country farmers are to blame for this irreligious practice those in town who encourage them by giving them stables are far worse, and doubly guilty for disturbing the people of the town on Sundays and holidays, which happen to precede fair days.

Another matter which occupies a prominent place in the minds of the townspeople is the manner in which the fairs and pig markets are conducted. The outside public would scarcely believe that a pig fair was in full swing at midnight on Sunday, and any of the businesspeople were compelled to stop up all nght. The fair was over, so far as buying and selling is concerned, at 2 o’clock in the morning, and the country people are all tied away from the town at 8 o’clock a.m.

These fairs are, therefore, no good from a business point of view, and the rule made some years ago of not permitting buying to take place until 8 o’clock in the morning should be strictly enforced.

 Clifden penalties

At the last meeting of Clifden Guardians, the following resolution, proposed by Mr. John D’Arcy, was carried unanimously – “That we, the Clifden Board of Guardian instruct our Clerk to obtain a copy of the Lord Chief Baron’s judgment in the case of the appeal of the Board of Richmond Asylum against the surcharge of the auditor”.

This has arisen owing to the fact that the auditor has already surcharged the Clifden Guardians in the matter of contracts where they had not accepted the lowest tender, and a further surcharge is threatened for the same cause, although the judgment above referred to states that the opinions of public bodies who are entrusted with the disbursement of public monies should be supreme, and that they need not accept the lowest tender, and that no auditor or other person can compel or coerce them to do so.

Town Hall opening

It has been announced by Monsignor McAlpine, P.P., that the Town Hall, Clifden, will be formally opened on January 6, when His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Healy, Archbishop of Tuam, will be present, together with that eminent historian and scholar – Dr. D’Alton – by whom a lecture will be delivered. It is also expected that a few of our M.P.s will be present.

 1935

Cinemagoers spoilt

Picturegoers are being well catered for at Galway’s cinemas this week.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights “A Cup of Kindness” was screened in Galway’s new super cinema, the Savoy and was a sparkling comedy, guaranteed a laugh bringer.

Christmas rates

The collection of rates in County Galway during the Christmas week showed a decided improvement as compared with the collection during the corresponding week last year.

At the weekly meeting of the Finance Committee of the Galway County Council, Mr Martin Quinn, chairman, presiding, said the rates collected during the week amounted to £2,062 as compared with £960 during Christmas week 1933.

The total collected to date was £61,973 or 32.6 per cent.

 Suicide charge

At Galway Circuit Court on Wednesday, before his lordship, Judge Wyse Power, a man from Tiernea, Lettermore, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted suicide by throwing himself into the sea on November 15, 1934.

His lordship said he believed the accused did not know what he was doing at the time through drink and would therefore discharge him.

 

Christmas boom

“Business in Galway during the few days prior to Christmas Day was better and brisker than it was during any Christmas advent of recent years.” This is the expressed opinion of many Galway businessmen, but none ventured to offer a reason for the improvement.

A week before Christmas market prices held on the same level as those ruling prior to the previous Christmas and business was not all that might be expected in the shops. The only improvement in prices at the markets came with a strong demand for turkeys on Wednesday.

The improvement in shopping business was noticeable in every section of trade – drapery and millinery, grocery and fancy trade etc., and the range of purchases outside the type of articles generally purchased for gifts was extensive.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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