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February 11, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Hunter confusion

Constable Colreavy summoned James Robinson and Martin Madden, Loughrea for having been unlawfully in pursuit of game at Aille on the 23rd ult. Dr. Comyn appeared for the defendants.

Constable Colreavy deposed that he met the defendants at Aille on the 23rd of last month. On questioning them, Robinson said they were out for a walk. Witness charged them with having game in their possession, unlawfully obtained, which they denied.

Witness then told them that if they did no give up the game, he would search them. They replied they would not allow him to do so. They both carried sticks, which the witness produced. He insisted on their giving up the game, and at length witness, with the aid of another constable who accompanied him, succeeded in taking two rabbits out of their pockets.

In a struggle which took place between Madden and Constable Leary, the head was pulled off one of the rabbits (laughter). James Robinson gave his name as “John Burns, Loughrea”. They had the defendants under observation for almost three hours. Defendants were wearing overcoats when they met them. They did not wear any during the time they had them under observation. They had six dogs, including two hounds, with them.

In dross-examination by Dr. Comyn, witness said he saw the defendant in pursuit of game on the lands of Aille grazing farm, occupied by Mr. Cooke. He was about a quarter of a mile away from them. There were times when he lost sight of them.

Witness was able to swear the defendants were the two men he saw going through the firs on Mr. Cooke’s farm on the date in question. It was not by the dogs he identified them. They did not say they were on Mr. Conway’s land. They said they were only out for a walk.

Constable Leary corroborated.

Dr. Comyn said he would examine James Robinson for Madden, as he could give no evidence on his own behalf.

James Robinson stated that Martin Madden was in company with him on the day on question on Mr Conway’s lands. They had leave from Mr. Conway to hunt on his land. Madden was not at any time during that day on Mr. Cooke’s land at Aille.

Cross-examined by complainant: Mr. Conway’s farm was to the right of the road leading to Loughrea. They spent the evening on those lands.

Martin Madden swore that Robinson was on Mr. Cooke’s farm that day, when he was ordered by Dr. Comyn, amidst laughter, to come down.

The Bench imposed a fine of 30s and costs in each case, with the alternative of 14 days in jail.


Turf scheme

During the week, an inspector under the Government’s Turf Scheme visited Tuam district and arranged for committees to be appointed somewhat on the co-operative system to carry out the scheme in these different districts.

Another inspector visited Tuam also in connection with the Government’s scheme for the allotment of plot for the unemployed. He explained that land can be acquired in and near the town, if necessary, by compulsion and the Government supplies seed, manure and implements free for the working of such plots.

The town board will lose nothing by introducing the scheme and the only rent payable by the tenants of such plots will be 1s a year. It was decided to appoint a committee of the town board to meet the organiser, I.T. and G.W.U. and ascertain the number of unemployed to qualify for such posts.

Shock accident

A shocking accident occurred at Rathruddy, near Loughrea, when a young man named John Madden, Cahernaman, farmer’s son, who was attending a thresher, accidentally got caught in the machine while in motion and had portion of his arm almost torn off.

Medical aid was requisitioned and it was deemed advisable to amputate the limb from above the elbow. Madden, who is an only son, was subsequently conveyed to Galway hospital where he lies in a critical condition.

The machine, worked with the aid of two horses, belonged to a man named Michael Joseph Callanan, Shrah, who was engaged at threshing operations at the house of a farmer named Patrick Callanan, Rathruddy, when the unfortunate accident occurred.

Cupid’s busy

The report of the Register-General for 1933 states that Cupid was more active in County Galway than in any other county outside Cork during that year. There was in Galway 669 marriages; Mayo 587; Roscommon 318 and Clare 329. Galway had 3,881 births during the year, against 2,031 for County Dublin, whilst the number of marriages in County Dublin was 650.

The Mayo births were 2,992; Roscommon 1,335 and Clare 1,606. Births in Galway and Mayo are up to the highest average for the whole country.

Illegitimate births in Galway during the year totalled 73; Mayo 31; Roscommon 23 and Clare 47. There were 12 deaths of women in confinement against 4 in Mayo and 2 in Roscommon.

For more, read page 34 of 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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