Date Published: 01-Apr-2008
ONE of the main sponsors of the Volvo Ocean Race due to take place in the city next year has offered to part fund an iconic fountain in Galway Bay to mark the event.
The 250m high fountain would be built by way of a public/ private scheme and once the plans are approved, the fountain could be installed by the end of this year but definitely in time for the event in June 2009.
But probably the most unusual aspect of the project, believed to cost in the region of €240million will be that it is to be powered by methane gas from the Mutton Island Sewerage Treatment Plant — the technology has been developed in Dubai, as part of its sustainable energy policy for the rapid development of the region.
Designed by a team of experts keen to keep the project ‘green’, the fountain — believed to be the biggest in Europe — will be very visual, not unlike Dublin’s Spire, and will be seen from Western points as far away as Kerry.
The base of the fountain is currently being designed by one of Ireland’s leading sculptors and as it will be located on Mutton Island, it could depict sheep as a reference to the name of the location or birds, as the island has always been a sanctuary for wildlife.
Because of the size of the project and the cost some monies may have to be taken from the 2006-2012 city road building fund. The scale of the project is so large in its current form that it has been suggested that a small part of the sewage treatment plant be moved to South Park to make room for it. This will however be of benefit to the area as it will help in the capping of the contanimated soil.
An expert from Lila Proof Ltd, a company that installs large scale fountains all over the world, especially in the fast developing Middle East, said that the Galway one would be similar to a fountain in Lake Garda in Italy, which is also 100% environmentally friendly.
Apparently, the gas from the plant will also aid the colouring of the lighting for the fountain — it is envisaged that like other public iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower, the lights will change to make them green for St. Patrick’s Day, red for Christmas and so on.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport,Trade and Tourism said: “The potential for tourism is massive, this will be Ireland’s Niagara Falls, or could well become a tourist attraction like Robin Island.”
See below for more………
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.