Date Published: 26-Jun-2007
THE third Cardiothoracic Unit in Ireland has opened in University Hospital Galway – ensuing that patients living in the West of Ireland will no longer have to travel to Dublin or Cork for major heart surgery.
When fully operational the unit will carry out between 300- 400 major heart operations per year. In the region of 200 Thoracic Surgeries will be carried out at the unit.
According to Mr Dave Veerasigam, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the hospital, “this is a milestone for the region. The increase in population means that such services are a necessity in the area”.
He went on to say, “this will pave the way for further specialists in the area”.
When finished there will be six intensive care beds, four high dependency beds and 10 ward beds. Currently the unit is working at half capacity. The unit has being commissioned in two parts and will be fully operational from 2008
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Government weighs up its five chances with a reflection on life in the trenches
Date Published: 06-Feb-2013
GALWAY TEAGASC STAFF OFFERED RETIREMENT SCHEME
Youthful Cronin recovers from first stage spin to take glory
Date Published: 07-Feb-2013
KEITH Cronin from West Cork and co-driver Marshall Clarke powered to their first Safety Direct Galway International Rally win at the weekend. The current Group N British Champion in his Subaru Impreza WRC won by 13.5 seconds from Eugene Donnelly in his MINI WRC after a titanic battle that lasted all day in slippery conditions on the byways of East Galway on Sunday.
The Safety Direct Galway International Rally is the first event of the Irish Tarmac Championship and Cronin is a new name on the trophy. Driving his Subaru Impreza WRC for the first time, his win means that for two years in a row, youth has had its way for another year after Darren Gass won the event last year.
Cronin has been flying the Irish flag with distinction abroad for a couple of years and with name like Gass, Garry Jennings, Declan Boyle and World S2000 Champion Craig Breen making headlines, it is a new era in Irish rallying.
Despite a spin on the first test in Bellville that cost him 20 seconds Cronin gradually found his rhythm and by the end of the second loop of stages he was just .1 of a second behind Donnelly, who had lead from the start with three stages to go. From there Cronin set fastest times on the next two stages which gave him a lead of 18.5 seconds with the final test to go. Donnelly did claw back five seconds on the last stage but Cronin wasn’t to be denied.
Indeed, the first stage was to prove crucial in the event. Last year’s winner Darren Gass crashed out of the event on the last corner of the first stage leaving the way open for Donnelly first, and later Cronin to entertain the large number of spectator that lined the roads round Ballinasloe.
In third place at the finish were the Boyle brothers, Declan and Brian from Donegal with Belfast’s Derek McGarrity in fourth. Both cars mixed with the top two for long periods but a combination of the sheer speed of the winner and the second placed man and some technical difficulties, meant they had to settle for the minor places.
Galway’s John Joe Fleming and Robbie Ward were the best local crew and they picked the coveted Brian Thornton Memorial Cup as the leading Galway team. Tom Flaherty and Patrick Curley were just pipped for the National title after leading that event from early on – Patrick Kiernan eventually taking the honours.
Other Galway members worth mentioning were David Quigley and Des Sherlock who finished 13th, Liam Egan and Raymond Coppinger, Pat and Jonathon Kelly, Tom Curley and Jason Ollernshaw, Neil Pierce and Enda O’Leary, Eamonn Dervan and Greg Kennedy and Tommy Flanagan and Sean Burke, all who featured in their respective classes.