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Galway’s People of the Year honoured



Date Published: 19-Nov-2009

The Rehab Galway people of the YearAwards were presented last Saturday night at a glittering gala Banquet and black tie presentation in the Clayton hotel attended by 485 supporters and guests.

Among those in attendance were the Mayors of Galway City and County, Cllrs Declan McDonnell and Tom McHugh, and Minister Eamonn ó CuÍv.

A number of people travelled home from various parts of the world to attend the prestigious event including a large contingent from the Galway Association in London.

All the winners who were accompanied by family friends and supporters were nominated by the public for their work and contribution in a variety of fields which contributed to the betterment of the lives of people in their communities.

Speaking at the function Rehab organiser Ollie Robinson said the awards had once again captured the imagination of the Galway public with a massive response to the request for nominations.

He said that over the years the contribution – social, economic, educational, sporting or cultural – of the people who drive Galway’s communities at home and abroad are recognised by what is now the highest accolade a person can receive in the county.

All of the winners are selected by the public through a nomination process and decided by the adjudication committee of Dr Jack McCann, Mary Bennett and Cllr Liam Carroll. prior to the presentation of each award a short DVD resume of each winner’s contribution was shown on four large screens in the function room.

Ernesto Antonio, a heart transplant recipient formerly of Bushypark and now living in England, received the Lohan’s, Prospect Hill award for his great work in promoting organ donor awareness by running in marathons and other events.

Sean Burke from Moylough received the Doonmood Nurseries and Garden Centre Award as the driving force behind the Galway Association in London.

Former IFA president John Donnelly, who is also a Cancer Care West fundraiser, was presented with the Galway County Council Award by Mayor of County Galway, Cllr Tom McHugh.

Galway football Board chairman John Joe Halloran was honoured for his tireless work for charity with the Galway Irish Crystal Award, presented by Tex Callaghan.

Tom Grealy from Galway city was presented with his award by Pauline Crowley, head of fundraising with the Rehab Group, for his help and support for many groups and individuals.

Kathy Eastwood from Oranmore received the HSE Award for her work in the area of Mental health.

Seventeen year old Kim Moore from Menlough, who was described as a role model for young people, received the Royal Rock Award from John Mannion.

Margaret Tierney Smith, who has done so much to develop and promote Console in Galway, was presented with her award by Kevin Clancy of the Rehab group.

Tommy Kelly from Renmore was presented with the Medtronic award by Ailish O’Sullivan for his work with Western Alzheimer’s Association.

The Special Merit group Award went to the crew of the Galway RNLI Lifeboat and was presented to Mike Swan, Declan Killilea and Seamus Carter by Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Declan McDonnell.

And to cap it all, the three people responsible for the Galway Volvo Ocean stopover – John Killeen, Enda ó Coinneen and Eamonn Conneelly – received a standing ovation as they received the Special Achievement Award from Failte Ireland CEO, Fiona Monaghan.

Compere for the night was Keith Finnegan of Galway Bay fm.


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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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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