Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Even the horses try to muscle-in on ‘Presidential Election Stakes’



Date Published: 04-Aug-2011

All of last week, Ballybrit turned into something of an unofficial parade ring for potential runners for the ‘Áras Stakes’ – many of the possible candidates making it their business to be seen in the enclosure as the week progressed.

Michael D. Higgins and Sabina were there, as was Independent Mary Davis, and gay Mitchell of Fine Gael appeared in-tow with those two arch-rivals from Galway West, Senator Fidelma Healy Eames and Mayor Hildegarde Naughton.

Both looked all palsy walsy in resplendent racing outfits in colour photos in the daily papers, but they seem destined to battle it out eventually in Galway West in a few years time.

With all that parading in the ring for the ‘Áras Stakes,’ it was hardly surprising that at one point, it even got to the stage where the horses wanted to get in on the act!

One of the running stories for weeks had been whether Fianna Fáil might run Eamon ‘Dev Óg’ Ó CuÍv…..with the de Valera grandson playing his cards close to his chest as to the possibility of standing.

Meanwhile, in the background, a special committee had been set up in Fianna Fáil to consider the situation in detail as that election date loomed up.

Any wonder then that, as they loaded the horses in the stalls for the fourth race at Ballybrit on Plate Day, that a horse called De Valira (these horses may not be good spellers!) began to act up as they went to post. Maybe he was feeling his oats with all this publicity in recent weeks!

Like any de Valera he wouldn’t be easily led, this possible entrant …… they put a blindfold on him (now no one will do that to ‘Dev Og’) as they tried to get him into the starting stalls, but De Valira wasn’t having any of it and banged his head against the stalls before they eventually got him in.

It resulted in some tipsters downgrading De Valira from a possible place bet, or maybe even a winner, and he eventually finished fifth at eight-to-one in the fourth.

It all helped to highlight just something of the dilemma in which Fianna Fail – and Dev Og – found themselves in recent weeks in the run up to the presidential Election. Believe you me, there had been quite an animated discussion in the topmost ranks of FF as they tried to decide whether ‘to run or not to run’ a candidate.

For more of John Cunningham’s analysis see this week’s 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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading

Archive News

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads