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Gardaí visit schools in bid to stamp out street trouble

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Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

 BY FRANK FARRAGHER

GARDAÍ are to visit second level schools in the city area over the coming days to try and prevent unruly teenage gatherings in Salthill – last Saturday evening, up to five young people were arrested in the area for public order offences.

Several complaints of public drinking and unsocial behaviour were made to Gardaí in Salthill about the conduct of a small number of young teenagers in a crowd of more than 300 – split into different groups – many of whom were out ‘celebrating’ the finish of their Junior Cert mock exams.

The ‘gathering’ is understood to have been organised through Facebook and other social media networking outlets through Friday and Saturday. There have been a number of similar, though smaller gatherings in the area on several occasions in recent months.

One eyewitness told the Connacht Sentinel that he and his friends were ‘confronted’ on Saturday evening by a ‘gang’ of about 10 male teenagers who were gesturing with empty Buckfast bottles in a threatening manner.

“Another pulled a carpet knife from his tracksuit bottoms. We called the Gardaí, but they told us they were busy on another call-out with someone who was unconscious up the road,” said the eyewitness.

He described the atmosphere in Salthill as ‘very tense with people just waiting for something to kick off’. “It was very intimidating,” he added.

The Centra supermarket in Salthill also closed their doors at 9pm on Saturday night – two hours earlier than normal – although the proprietor, Michael O’Connor, stressed that he just did this as a precautionary measure.

“The last thing I want to do, is to give the impression that gangs were running amok in the area. This wasn’t the case, but given the numbers that were on the street, we decided to close down,” said Michael O’Connor.

He praised the efforts of the Gardaí in their handling of the large numbers of teenagers on the streets, due mainly he added, to the conclusion of the Junior Cert ‘mocks’ last week.

“There is only so much the Gardaí can do and the vast majority of those young people were causing no problem to anyone. But I really think that the issue of parental responsibility has a big role to play when looking at things like this,” said Michael O’Connor.

A Garda spokesman confirmed to the Sentinel that there were ‘four to five’ arrests on Saturday night last in the Salthill area, all for relatively minor public order offences. Most of those incidents would be dealt with by way of caution and consultation with parents, although he didn’t rule out prosecutions being taken also.

There was also concern for a time on Saturday about the condition of a 14-year-old girl in the Salthill area who appeared to have been taken quite ill shortly after 7pm, apparently due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed.

“We will be visiting every second level school in the city over the coming days and weeks to get the message clearly across that unruly behaviour on the streets and drinking in public places will not be tolerated.

“In the run-up to St Patrick’s Weekend, we are also making a special appeal to parents to make it their business at all times to know where their children are, what they are doing, and what time they are to be picked up at,” said Sgt Shane Cummins of Galway Garda Station.

Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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