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Archive News

February 5, 2010



Date Published: {J}

School attendance

Mr. Thomas Sloyan, school attendance inspector, obtained orders for attendance at school against two children named Byrne and Rorke.

In the case against Byrne, Mr. Sloyan stated that the child had been 60 days absent from June til December 31.

The father said the child was sent regularly to school every day, but mitched. He tried the birch-rod and did everything possible to make him go. He was afraid that the rising generation in Tuam were doing him harm.

Chairman: He is one of them; so try your best to improve him.

Children’s Act

Mrs Anne Diskin, publican, High Street, Tuam was prosecuted for a breach of the new Children’s Act. Constable Confrey stated that on 4th January he saw two tramps named Ward in the house of Mrs. Diskin. One of them, a woman, had a six months’ old baby in her arms.

Mrs. Diskin said she could not get the Wards out. They were drunk when they entered the shop. She sent for the police, but the messenger did not go, and in the meantime, the constable entered.

Constable Confrey said there was a man behind the counter at the time.

The Bench held that she was liable to a fine of £5, this being her second offence. A fine of 2s 6d and costs was imposed.

Cruel eviction

Last Monday, there was an eviction of a cruel type in Athenry when a Mrs. Warde was thrown out on the street with her furniture and family. A great many asked where was the Town Tenants’ League? Since the eviction a great many have asked the same question, and what is to be done with this poor woman in her misery?

The case is a particularly hard one. Mrs Warde purchased her house recently when the Lambert estate was being sold, and has as a matter of fact paid three instalments of the Government annuity. Her husband was declared bankrupt some 12 months ago, and during the juggle, the Court officials decided on selling out the interest of this house.

No one would think that in Athenry houses would be bought over the heads of tenants, much less the tenant who could have purchased it. As a matter of fact, there are a number of purchasers for this poor woman’s house, and probably there will be a row when the purchaser is declared.

Animal welfare

At Ballinasloe Petty Sessions, Constable McGill charged Thomas Horne and Robert B. McDonnell, Ballyforan, the former with cruelly ill-treating a jennet and the latter for causing and procuring. Complainant said that on the 21st January, he found Thomas Horne with a jennet, attached to a car, with four sores on its breast – two on the right side and two on the left. The lining of the collar was sticking to them and matter and blood came from them.

Those on the left were the size of a five-shilling and a shilling, and were in similar condition. When Horne was questioned, he said the animal got wet and the hair turned.

Horne was fined 1s and costs and Mr. McDonnell, the owner 5s and costs.


Fierce gale

A fierce gale swept over South Galway during the weekend. Crops and house property in many districts suffered more or less damage from the storm.

Hay and corn stacks were blown away, galvanised roofs were dislodged and slates torn off. Trees were also blown down.

In Loughrea, the storm raged with unabated violence for about two days. The roof on the dwelling house occupied by Mr. Michael O’Halloran, the owner of a bakery at Bride Street, was partially demolished in the height of the storm on Friday night, and the debris coming on contact with an electric cable caused a momentary breakdown in the town lighting system.

The storm was accompanied by heavy rains and intermittent showers of snow. Flooding has also taken place over a wide area.

Rents withheld

Mr. Michael Hunt, president, presided at a general meeting of the Loughrea branch Town Tenants’ Association held at the Temperance Hall. There was a large attendance of members.


The secretary (Mr. M. Hynes, T.C.) explained the main reason for calling the meeting was as they knew a number of circulars for rent had been received by tenants from the estate agent during the week and it was already decided by the association that no rents be paid until such time as the landlord conceded their demand of 50 per cent reduction. He hoped that no member of the organisation would be as weak as to go behind its back and pay rent, pending a satisfactory solution of the demand put forward by the organisation.

The attitude already decided on was that the agent was to deal directly with the association and not with individuals, and for that reason the tenants were asked to leave matters entirely in the hands of the branch.

There was no doubt as to the result of their agitation for the reduction of 50 per cent, if the members stood together and presented a united front to the landlord.


The County Galway bye-election to the vacancy in the Dáil created by the death of Mr. Martin McDonogh, T.D. (FG), Galway, will probably be held in March. The Fine Gael party have decided to move for the writ soon after the re-assembly of the Dáil on February 13.

Two prominent members of Fianna Fáil in the county, Dr. Thomas Powell, ex-T.D., and Mr Eamon Corbett, chairman, Galway County Council, have been chosen in their respective divisions of the county for the contest, and it is very likely the choice for the election will rest between them. There appears to be no definite decision yet as to who will contest the election in Fine Gael interests.

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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City boys struggle in schools soccer final



Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

Coláiste na Coiribe 1

Our Lady’s Belmullet 3

Keith Kelly  in Castlebar

COLÁISTE Coláiste na Coiribe suffered Connacht final heartbreak for the third time in five years yesterday (Thursday) when they went down to the undisputed kingpins of Connacht B schools soccer, Our Lady’s Secondary of Belmullet, in the provincial final in Castlebar.

The game was moved from the GMIT campus in the town to the synthetic pitch of Castlebar Celtic due to a frozen pitch, and in truth the city side struggled to warm to the task against the reigning champions, who adapted far better to the artificial surface.

The Galway outfit did have the brighter start, pinning their opponents back on what was a very narrow pitch – there was just three yards between the sideline and the edge of the 18-yard box – but once Belmullet got their passing game going, they took the game by the scruff of the neck and never looked like relinquishing that grip,

They had just one goal to show at half-time for their dominance, but two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second half all but wrapped up the title, and while Coláiste na Coiribe worked hard to get back into the game – and pulled a goal back through Cathal O’Regan – they came up short against a well-drilled Mayo side.

Daithí Ó Máille caused the Belmullet defence plenty of problems down the right, and he came close to opening the scoring in the third minute when played in by Eric Ó Gionnain, but his first touch took him wide and the narrow angle proved his undoing.

Ó Gionnain then forced Belmullet ’keeper Jack Deane into a mistake when there looked to be little danger, but the ’keeper managed to scramble the ball out for a corner. Coláiste na Coiribe were unable to build on that impressive start, however, and Belmullet soon took control of what was at times an end-to-end game.

Daniel Lenihan and Caolann Malone had a busy day keeping the livewire Justin Healy under wraps, but the striker broke free in the 16th minute to test Ruairi Dempsey in the Coláiste na Coiribe goal, a test the ’keeper passed comfortably.

Dempsey then brilliantly denied the Mayo side the opener two minutes later when a corner from the left found Peter Caffrey unmarked, but his shot from six yards was brilliantly beaten away by Dempsey, and the Belmullet captain’s follow-up effort hit the post and went wide.

Kyle O’Reilly sent a shot wide from inside the box in the 24th minute, and Healy and Tommy Conroy linked up three minutes later down the right, but Conroy’s teasing ball across the face of goal eluded the inrushing attackers.

The Mayo side finally got the breakthrough on the half-hour mark when Eoin O’Donoghue got a head on Gary Boylan’s free-kick to direct the ball into the path of Conroy, and he fired home from inside the six yard box from what looked like an offside position.

It was no more than Belmullet deserved considering their dominance, and they as good as wrapped up the final early in the second half when scoring twice in three minutes. The impressive Boylan got both, the first a drive from just inside the box that gave Dempsey no chance in the 51st minute after Belmullet broke from a Coláiste na Coiribe corner; the second in the 54th minute when the midfielder pounced on a loose ball to drill home a shot from 20 yards out.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Charity shops still delivering the goods in tough times



Date Published: 31-Jan-2013

Government funding for Galway Airport could be in doubt as a result of the Budget.

The Department of Transport has confirmed that funding announced last year for regional airports is under review.

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