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February 10, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Kilcahill sensation

A sensational occurrence is alleged to have happened on Sunday night last at Kilcahill, near Tuam, in Cummer sub-police district. From the special court proceedings arising out of it and held in Tuam on the following day, it is alleged that a revolver shot was fired at three police who left Tuam on patrol duty at about 7 o’clock on Sunday evening.

After remaining some time within the vicinity of the house of John Burke, who resides at Currandrum and is under police protection, the police patrol proceeded along the road in the direction of Tuam. After passing Corrandrum school house, a horse and car on which there were six passengers was met, and immediately it had passed the police transport car, the report of a revolver shot was heard.

The police immediately turned round in pursuit of the car they had passed which trotted away quickly. The chase was continued as far as Annaghdown where four young men were arrested.

Shot dead

Patrick Sheehan, a herd and small farmer of Drumacoo, was shot dead at about half-past eight last night as he was on his way home from Kilcolgan. The fatal shot was fired from the Tyrone demesne wall, which is over six feet high. Sheehan fell to the ground, and when found afterwards was quite dead, a gun-shot wound being found in his right temple. It is believed that death was instantaneous.

Sheehan, who holds some land, and is also a herd, has been boycotted for a considerable time. He was carrying his food home for the night when he was shot and the parcel was subsequently found grasped tightly in his hands. Four men were later arrested for the murder.

Killimore eviction

A special meeting was held on the 5th inst. for the purpose of discussing the contemplated eviction of Michael Flannery, Sismihil, by John Donohoe, Heathlawn. The eviction would be as ill timed as it is repugnant to the Nationalist sentiment. The constructive policy has displaced the destructive in this parish. We have had a breathing space here for some time past, and it would be infortunate to have eviction scenes again renewed.


Ballinasloe hospital

The Local Government Department wrote to the Galway County Board of Health with reference to the proposal to build a district hospital in Ballinasloe, stating that the Board of Health should advertise for an architect of experience, the fees payable to be the usual professional fees. The Board decided that Messrs. J. Gannon, B.E., and M. Sweeney be appointed engineers, both men being willing to call in an approved architect.

Regarding the selection of a site for the hospital, the secretary said he had received a letter from the Local Government Department stating that persons offering land should be expected to state the price expected.

Rumour denied

The rumour that the Galway Industrial School at Lower Salthill is to be closed and the boys transferred to the Letterfrack school has been denied by the community of the Irish Christian Brothers by whom the school is conducted. A Connacht Tribune representative who visited the school was informed that the suggestion of a transfer was not made at any time by anyone connected with the school and that there was no foundation whatsoever for the rumour. The Commission appointed to investigate the industrial school system in the Free State have not yet made their report.

Knock claims

Most. Rev. Dr. Gilmartin, Archbishop of Tuam, has had forwarded to the Holy See a copy of the recently published book on the Shrine at Knock, Co. Mayo, by District Justice W.D. Coyne. The book will be translated into Italian and placed before the Congregation of Sacred Rites, to whom His Grace is also submitting the other necessary documents and data.

Mrs. Mary O’Connell, of Knock, one of the two surviving witnesses who claim to have seen the apparition of the Blessed Virgin outside the little Church of Knock on August 21, 1879, is at present seriously ill.

Prior to her illness, she made a sworn statement before a Commissioner of Oaths, in which she again related her story of the Apparition.

Her account is similar to the one she had given many times when interviewed, but in concluding the sworn statement she said: “I am quite clear about everything I have said, and I make this statement knowing that I am going before God.”

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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