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December 9, 2010



Date Published: {J}


General Election

The electoral ‘fight’ – if one can dignify it by naming it a ‘fight’ – was opened in Galway on Saturday when the following candidates were nominated at the City Courthouse: Stephen Lucius Gwynn, M.A., Temple Gardens, London and James Leslie Wanklyn of the Marlborough Club, London. Mr Gwynn was described as an author, and Mr Wanklyn as a gentleman.


The precincts to the Courthouse was guarded by about a score police under District Inspector Mercer, of Galway and District Inspector Woods, of Oughterard, about fifty special police having been drafted in for the occasion.

For a considerable period after Mr Gwynn’s nomination papers had been handed in and accepted, there was no appearance of Mr Wanklyn, or on his behalf. About a quarter past 12, Capt. Law, R.N., rambled leisurely into the room, and left almost immediately after.

Those present were beginning to hope that we should be spared the needless turmoil and worry and trouble of an election, and that the City would not suffer the general paralysis of trade and business that a contest inevitably brings.

A little later, a gentleman arrived who stated that he had just refused to sign a nomination paper for Mr Wanklyn, who, up to that time, could not get a proposer and seconder. It was evident that the members of the puny mischief-making gang, who had egged this gentleman on to contest Galway with the sole object of putting the Irish Party to needless trouble and expense, had found it expedient to desert him at the last moment, and that he and the few supporters who remained were in sad straits.


Mr. Justice Wright, presiding at the Connaught Assizes in Limerick on Tuesday, had before him a case in which Francis Lally and John Hanniffy were charged with conspiracy against Mrs Katie Higgins for affording accommodation in her house to a Mrs Margaret Mulvey, at Tallyho, near Athenry. Mulvey is a constabulary barrack servant.

During the hearing, his lordship said he was quite justified in his statement at the opening of the Assizes that there was a state of lawlessness in some parts of Galway. The jury could not agree, and were discharged.


Postal boom

For the last few years, Galway has grown, and this growth is shown in the great increase in work at the General Post Office, Galway. Owing to the extension in all directions of the city boundaries, the post office has been finding it increasingly difficult to effect efficient deliveries of letters and parcels in some of the new suburban districts.

In consequence of this, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs have found it necessary to completely reorganise the local deliveries and to extend these to outlying parts which up to the present were regarded as rural areas and as such were afforded but one delivery a day.

As a result of the reshuffle, the town deliveries both morning and midday have been extended to embrace the limits in every direction of the present city boundaries and at the same time, much improved services have been afforded to many of the new districts.

New hospital

Without any formality, the new Cottage Hospital in Clifden was thrown open on Sunday by Mr. John Gallagher, secretary to the Galway Board of Health, whose energetic efforts, coupled with those of Mr. Eamon Corbett, T.D., Galway County Council, have been largely instrumental in having it put into commission.

The new hospital, completed three years ago at a cost of more than £16,000 from the Sweep Fund, was built to the designs of Mr Frank Gibney. It replaces the old Clifden District Hospital closed exactly fourteen years ago under the amalgamation scheme.

The hospital, which is primarily intended for the use of the sick poor, fills a long-felt need. Formerly, patients in need of treatment had to undergo the hardship of an arduous journey to Galway. As a result of the establishment of the new hospital, patients, on receipt of tickets of admission from the medical officers of their districts, will in future have facilities for getting the most modern treatments near their homes.

The Clifden Cottage Hospital will stand comparison with the best in the land. Two main wards, conforming to the most modern requirements as regards lighting and ventilation, provide accommodation for twenty patients – ten men and ten women. These wards form the east and west wings of the hospital.

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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