Date Published: 03-Mar-2010
It’s down to the wire . . . but Galway still remains in hot contention to be the final port of call for the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race.
Over the past week, Lisbon in Portugal and the French city of Lorient (a twin city of Galway) have been chosen as the first two European stops for the race – now, only the venue to host the completion of the event, remains to be announced.
That decision will be confirmed on either next Tuesday or Wednesday with Galway, Amsterdam and Stockholm, the three main contenders.
This week, John Killeen the Chairman of the Let’s Do It Galway group – organisers of the Galway application – told the Connacht Tribune that he remained confident over Galway’s chances.
“We will not know until early next week – there are no leaks in this business – but what I can say is that we have left no stone unturned in our application bid,” said John Killeen.
The race came to Galway at the end of May last year for a two week stopover and benefitted the local economy to the tune of almost €56m.
In the Galway application, they propose a two to three day final ‘round Ireland’ leg to the race, with double points on offer to the yachts involved. The arrival date would be early June, 2012.
“We are in with a real shout. Our application is a good one and the event last summer was a brilliant one in Galway with a real Irish welcome. And we do have Galway Bay, a magnificent natural asset on the world stage. Those factors do give us confidence,” said John Killeen.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Early tries scupper Wegians in Bateman Cup
Date Published: 24-Jan-2013
WOMAN TOLD TO LEAVE GALWAY OR FACE JAIL
Killimor wary of favourites tag for semi-final
Date Published: 30-Jan-2013