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Archive News

February 2, 2012



Date Published: {J}


Trading problems

Apropos of fairs and markets, a county correspondent writes to call attention to the fact that the Galway markets on Saturday will suffer considerable injury from the fact that the coal and timber yards are closed early on Saturday. He recently came to Galway, and, having disposed of a load of hay, visited a city timber yard where he had hitherto dealt, but found that it was closed.

This, as my correspondent points out, results in considerable inconvenience to county people; and for his part, he is seriously considering the transfer of his custom to Tuam.

Burglary epidemic

There appears to be an “epidemic” as it is called, of burglaries in Galway at the present time. On Tuesday night, the premises of Messrs. John Griffin and Sons, Army and Navy contractors, Cross Street, were broken into from the rear, and the till was rifled.

Fortunately however, it contained only a few shillings in coppers.

The robbers made an attack on the safe in which there was between £180 and £200 in gold and notes. They endeavoured to remove it because they were unable to force it, or dreaded the alarm which such procedure might give, but hearing a noise upstairs, they decamped.

Next morning, Mr. Griffin, on entering the shop, found the safe removed from its usual position. He “smelled a rat”, and going to the till, found it empty. In the words of the poet, “The bank was still there, but the waters were going”. He reported the matter to the police, who are now prosecuting searching inquiries.


Migration scheme

Two Irish Land Commission inspectors visited Rosmuc on Friday and received over one hundred applications for sixty holdings which will shortly be available to migrants at Gibbstown, County Meath. Twenty-seven families have already left South Connemara under the migration scheme, and the rush of applications for buildings now available is the result of encouraging reports from these migrants. It is expected that sixteen families will leave from Knock, Spiddal within the next month.

Ballinasoe floods

Heavy rain fell in Galway on Sunday morning, followed by high winds. Hundreds of acres along the banks of the River Suck and Shannon tributaries are flooded for the past week. Around Ballinasloe the floods are larger than any seen for many years, and the force of the gale which accompanies the heavy rains last week did some damage to outhouses, sheds and haggards in many parts of the county.

Tracts of pasture lands for miles between Ballinasloe, Banagher, Shannonbridge along the Suck’s banks are flooded to several feet, and stock have had to be removed to higher pasture lands.

For the week, Connemara was a wilderness of snow, sleet, rain and storm.

Restlessness in children

Advert – A common cause of restlessness in children is constipation. When a child’s bowels are full of poisonous fermenting waste-matter, natural rest is impossible. The safest way to give your child a thorough internal cleansing is ‘California Syrup of Figs’, which is a pure fruit laxative.

It sets up a natural movements that carries away all the clogging, hard waste-matter and leaves the little inside sweetened and clean. Once a child has got rid of all that disagreeable sour matter that has been upsetting him, he sleeps soundly and wakes up the picture of brightness.

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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