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Farmyard fillies to be calendar celebrities

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Date Published: 05-Nov-2009

The farming community in North Galway may be preoccupied with bad prices and bad weather at the moment but there is something on the horizon which is about to lift their spirits.

Plummeting beef prices, little return from milk and the REPS catastrophe will be cast aside as they are about to see a whole new perspective of farming.

It maybe not as raunchy as Calendar Girls but twelve young women will be seen in a very different light and will be the pride of every slatted house in North Galway and beyond.

Each month the rural community will be treated to something special as a local girl will be displayed in all her rustic finery. And there will be no shortage of revealing shots as the women have agreed to do a calendar for charity with a farming theme attached.

From wearing wellies to dungarees to a roll in the hay, this unique calendar will have it all and will feature a bevvy of local beauties.

It is all part of a fund raising venture for two worthy causes which are St. Oliver’s Special School in Tuam and Action for Life Foundation.

The calendar is being produced by Tuam Voluntary Force, which is made up of members of the local FCA, Order of Malta and Tuam Fire Brigade and who organise the annual Harvest Ball.

It will be entitled The Farmyard Fillies, which may not be all that politically correct, but the participating girls don’t mind. The calendar will be launched on December 8 and will go on sale for Christmas.

Apart from the girls in their farmyard attire, the photographs – which will be taken by local photographer Johnny Ryan – will also have some well known personalities in the background.

Derek Cassidy of Tuam Voluntary Forces said that all of the participants were enthusiastic about the project and the prospect of the becoming Tuam’s very own Calendar Girls.

The shoot will take place on a farm on the outskirts of Tuam over the coming days and the participating models are from the Tuam, Abbeyknockmoy, Corofin, Sylane, Brownsgrove and Killererin areas.

Each of the 12 girls has got a sponsor for their individual month and this will go towards the cost of publishing the calendar which is expected to sell in their hundreds.

There is also an opportunity for other charities to promote events they are having during the course of 2010 on the relevant month of the calendar.

“It is definitely something new and it was the brainchild of some of the ladies who turned up at the Harvest Ball. Within a short time they had rounded up 12 volunteers”, Derek explained.

It is set to change the face of farming in North Galway . . . at least for the duration of 2010.

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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