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December 6, 2012



Date Published: 05-Dec-2012


Estate agent evicted

On Friday efternoon, the estate agent of the Gough and Lahiffe estates was having a hot time at his office, Gort, from whence he was speedily evicted. He, as usual, attended to collect his rent, but some misunderstanding arose between the agent and himself, in whose house he was, with the result that he had to make a speedy exit, and seek shelter in a disused house in Crow street.

Triple drowning

News has come to hand of a sad drowning fatality near Carraroe last evening. It seems that as three men, John Flaherty, Coleman Flaherty, and Jas. Griffin, were returning from Derrybrien Court, the canoe overturned in a squall, and all were lost. The body of John Flaherty, who was seventy years of age, has been recovered at Collshigne. The bodies of the other two men have not yet been discovered.

Faction fight

On Monday night, a fierce encounter took place between a party of tinkers at Church street, Gort. Bottles, sticks, and irons were freely used, and two members of the roaming band got seriously injured. Others were more fortunate and escaped with slight bruises and cuts.

The police put in their usual “after the ball” appearance. When they had succeeded in taking the names of those implicated, they informed them that they would all be summoned for the next court day.


Canvassers found ‘on’

At Galway District Court on Thursday, before District Justice Sean Mac Giollarnath, Annie Coyne, publican, Raven Terrace, Galway, was charged with a breach of the licensing laws on November 5. Supt. Murphy, G.S., prosecuted, and Mr. L.E. O’Dean, solicitor, appeaed for defendant.

Sergeant McGarry said that at 10.50pm on November 6, accompanied by Garda Lynch, he knocked at defendant’s door. After some delay, Michael Coyne admitted witness, who found signs of drink in the bar.

On going out into the yard, witness found Martin Bermingham, Dalysfort-road, and Martin Walsh, Lower Salthill.

Bermingham told witness that he had called to canvass Mr. Coyne’s vote and they had had no drink. Cross-examined, witness said that it was the time of the Corporation elections, and he (witness) was satisfied that Bermingham was canvassing in the area that night.

Michael Coyne, defendant’s husband, said that Bermingham and Walsh called to canvass witness’s vote. Witness was talking to them in the yard when the guards knocked at the door.

Justice: Well, it was election time and you did not bring Mr. Bermingham any luck (laughter).

Defendant was fined £1 and the men found on the premises were fined 10s. each.

Atrocious remarks

At Castlerea District Court on Wednesday, before Mr. Hugh L. McCann, Deputy D.J., a man was summoned for being drunk and disorderly on the public street. Inspector O’Sullivan said that on November 13 he found defendant drunk on the Market Square beside Kelly’s Hotel.

He was using offensive and most obscene language. Some of his remarks were atrocious and not a bit like what one would expect to hear in a Christian country. The defendant said he was sorry for the offence and had taken the pledge.

Replying to the District Justice, Inspector O’Sullivan said that this man was before the court on three occasions charged with similar offences. On November 14, 1934, he was convicted and fined £1; on October 14, 1936, he was fined 10s. and on May 12, 1937, he was fined 5s. He was a builder’s assistant and belonged to decent people, but when he took drink he became a nuisance to the community.

The Justice ordered the defendant to enter into recognisances in his own surety of £5 together with an independent surety of £5, to be of good behaviour for two years, or in default, serve a term of one month’s imprisonment.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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