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Grealish in crucial meeting with Taoiseach



Date Published: 08-Dec-2009

A CRUCIAL meeting is to take place today between the Taoiseach and Deputy Noel Grealish following the Galway West TD’s decision to withdraw his support from Government.

It means that Fianna Fáil are now leading a minority Government and a major effort is now being made to win back Deputy Grealish’s support. The combined votes of those supporting the Government has been reduced to 81 following Deputy Grealish’s withdrawal.

Over the weekend the former Progressive Democrats TD announced in a letter to the Taoiseach that he would no longer be supporting the Government.

He issued the Taoiseach with a list of demands with one of those being a substantial aid package for those affected by flooding in the west of Ireland.

Since the 2007 General Election he has consistently supported the Government but that arrangement has now come to an end.

Deputy Grealish told The Sentinel that the PDs had agreed to support the Government but now that the party had officially wound up, he said that this arrangement was no longer in place.

He said that in order for him to back the Government, a number of issues needed to be delivered and the most crucial one at the moment was the areas affected by the recent flooding.

But he has also made demands for roads projects – including the Claregalway bypass – along with funding for several schools in the Galway area as part of a comprehensive “shopping list”.

He confirmed that if an aid package was not provided, he would not be supporting the Government in the crucial Budget vote tomorrow afternoon.

Recently Deputy Grealish announced that he would not be joining Fianna Fáil as had been widely speculated following the demise of the PDs.

His decision was also influenced by the fact that Fianna Fáil are performing very poorly in opinion polls while the chances of the party taking three seats in Galway West are extremely remote.

The Carnmore based TD said that he would be fighting the next General Election as an independent candidate and will be the focus of much attention during tomorrow’s Budget.

When he initially agreed to support the Government, one of the promises that he was made related to the provision of a Claregalway bypass. He admits that progress on this has been extremely slow.

Former Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Padraic Conneely has accused Deputy Grealish of leading a double life. “When he is in the Dáil, he bends over backwards to support the Government and when he comes back to Galway, he wants to distance himself from Fianna Fáil. The public see through this charade”, Cllr. Conneely added.

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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