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Archive News

February 24, 2010



Date Published: {J}


Last week, we published an appeal from a city grocer’s assistant for a half-holiday each week, and we gladly endorsed the appeal.

During the week, we have been approached by a leading grocer from the West, who informs us that he would be only too glad to comply with such a demand on the part of the assistants, but he has never been seriously approached on the matter.

A weekly half-holiday would prove an undoubted boon to our city assistants, and if our correspondent of last week will call at the office, we shall gladly put him in communication with the trader alluded to, and we may add that we shall do what we can to bring about an amicable arrangement of this matter.

Bailiff intimidation

Three young men named John Mulryan, Michael Mulryan (farmers) and Michael Glynn (labourer), were charged before Mr. Kilbride R.M., at Galway on Wednesday with shouting at Richard McNevin, Sheriff’s bailiff, on the 14th inst at Kiltulla, while he was driving to Lackagh.

McNevin stated that on the 14th February, he was driving to Lackagh, and when passing near Kiltulla, the three defendants shouted at him to stand. His daughter was also in the trap, and she was called offensive names.

He was afraid to return to Galway without police protection, so he called on Acting Sergeant Kelleher at Loughgeorge. He did not see any beagles on the road. He did not see any beagles on an eviction in the district about 7 months ago.

Acting Sergeant Kelleher stated he went home with McNevin. Mr O’Dea (for the defendants), stated that the Resident Magistrate had no power to bind the defendants to the peace, as there was no evidence of a threat. He contended that there were beagles on the road, and the young men being of a sporting disposition, were shouting at the beagles.

Mr Kilbride said that the young men had no right to allow their feelings to get the better of them. He bound the defendants to the peace to be of good behaviour for 12 months, themselves in £10 and two sureties of £5 each.

Rent campaign

A large number of tenants on Lord Clonbrock’s estate at Ahascragh and Caltra have declined to pay the rents, as the demand for a reduction of 5s 2d in the £ has been refused. On Monday last they attended in a body at both villages and paid the rents to their solicitor, who will lodge them in bank.

Up to the present, about 150 tenants have joined the ‘no rent’ combination, and are determined to hold out until their demands are conceded. A special meeting of tenants is to be summoned to deal with those who have paid the rents to the landlord, and lively times in the district are anticipated.


Irish broadcasting

Dublin Broadcasting Station Programmes 223m, 1348k-o’s, 1kw) relayed through Athlone (531m, 565 k-o’s).

1.30-2.30pm: Time Signal. Weather Report. Stock Report and Gramophone Concert; 6.00: Children’s Hour; 6.45: News; 7.00 Talk in Irish; 7.15 Poetry Recital; 7.30: Time Signal, Symphony Orchestral Concert; 9.30: Sponsored Programme; 10.30: Time Signal, News, Weather Report; 10.40: P. Ó Raghallaigh, Fiddle; 10.50: Leo Rowsome; 11.00: Close down.

Gort barracks

The Guards have moved into their new and up-to-date quarters which adjoin the old barracks. The new buildings, which cost a couple of thousand pounds, have bedrooms, water supply and electric light and a telephone service and all modern sanitary conveniences. There is accommodation provided for the eight guards and the sergeant in charge and the sergeant in charge of the sub-division, and the offices of the superintendent and his clerical staff are also provided. The old building is being reconstructed as married quarters for Gardaí.

Unattended car

One shilling fine was imposed in the first case under the Road Traffic Act brought in the district at Ballinasloe Court in respect of leaving a motorcar unlocked, unattended and the engine running. The prosecuting guard said he found the car outside the P.O. unattended, the engine running, and the car unlocked. The defendant explained that he was in the post office for a few minutes and during his short stay, then left the engine running and door unlocked.

Town plan submissions

The question of adopting a town planning scheme for the town of Tuam, in view of the extensive building that is going on was again the subject of discussion at the special meeting on Tuesday evening, when it was decided that the letter from the County Council on the subject of the expenses of such a scheme be referred to the Local Government Department for their observations.

Hay theft

At Portumna District Court before Mr Cahill, D.J., John Bohan was charged at the suit of the Attorney General with the larceny of hay from Joseph Keane, Church Hill – Inspector Monnelly prosecuted. Guard McConway stated that complaints were made by Mr Keane that the hay was stolen.

On February 5, he was watching. He saw defendant coming from his house. He heard him pulling the hay. When he had some pulled, he (guard) went around and asked him what he was doing. He said he was taking down the hay and after a while, he said it was Keane’s.

He had a bag half-full and about a half-stone. He cautioned him, and he said some time ago John Keane told him that neither himself nor his sister need want for anything. The farm belonged to Keane.

Defendant stated he sold his farm to Keane, who was to till the small portion for him. He had an agreement which was in Mr. Keane’s office. – The Justice adjourned the case for a month.


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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