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Households left high and dry without water supply



Date Published: {J}

By Denise McNamara

Thousands of householders were left without water for 24 hours – but Galway City Council has apologised for failing to communicate the planned water outage across much of the city and suburbs last week.

The supply for thousands of householders was cut off for up to 24 hours and left many of the best known restaurants and pubs struggling to stay open.

The water supply was planned to be cut from 9pm on Thursday to allow a new connection to a 450mm watermain as part of the major roadworks on the Seamus Quirke Road.

It was to affect the supply in Rahoon, the Westside, Shantalla, parts of Salthill and Knocknacarra until 6am on Friday. However the disruption spread much wider, cutting off water across the city centre, particularly hitting Dominick Street and the array of pubs and restaurants in this part of the west.


Some householders did not get reconnected until late Friday night, with low pressure particularly affecting Cruachán Park and Claremont Park and other areas experiencing significant air locks.

Some homes were worried about the quality of the water when it returned as it was reported to be cloudy across much of the affected areas.

Due to a “miscommunication error” the public was not informed ahead of the disruption.

“We got a considerable amount of flak from businesses – and restaurants in particular – for failing to notify them of the planned water outage,” a spokesman admitted.

“We put our hands up on Friday morning and apologised for the miscommunication error. Galway Bay FM did not put out the notice and it did not go out on the website. We did have a problem getting the message out but we’ve certainly learned our lesson.”

The out-of-hours phone service was inundated with callers on Thursday night asking why the water was cut and wanting to lodge a complaint. Dozens of calls were also taken by staff all day on Friday.

“There are a couple more connections to be done and there may be further outages. But we will definitely give sufficient notice in the future,” explained the spokesman.

“The main problem was that people didn’t expect it and couldn’t plan for it.”

Director of services for transport and infrastructure, recreation and amenity Ciarán Hayes apologised publicly for the mistake on Galway Bay FM.

And thousands more householders in Oranmore, Claregalway, Athenry, Tuam and Spiddal will be without water today (Tuesday) due to works being carried out on the Luimnigh water treatment plant.

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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