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Hundreds of jobs could be saved by Volvo Ocean Race finale spin-off



Date Published: 13-Jun-2012

By Dara Bradley

Hundreds of jobs in the hospitality, services and retail sectors right across Galway could be saved if the predictions that the Volvo Ocean Race finale in the city this summer will bring a boost of €80 million and attract 800,000 people to the region, materialise.

As well as staving off lay-offs in hard-pressed small businesses, such as shops, restaurants, bars and in the accommodation sector in Galway, it has been predicted that hundreds of additional seasonal, casual and part-time will be taken on for the week of the Volvo Ocean Race Finale festival which kicks off on June 30.

Fáilte Ireland West have already reported that bookings for accommodation in the city is nearing full capacity while there is also a huge uptake in bookings in outlying areas of the county where individual businesses have sought to capitalise on the event with innovative packages including transport to the city.

Galway West Fine Gael TD, Brian Walsh, predicted the event would provide a major shot in the arm to tourism-related businesses which are under pressure to maintain staffing levels, pay the bills and keep their doors open. “While we have seen stabilisation and growth in tourism numbers for the first time since 2007 under this Government, many businesses in the hospitality and service sector are still struggling.

“The Volvo Ocean Race finale represents a major boost for those businesses, which will allow them to protect existing jobs and create hundreds of seasonal positions during what promises to be an exceptional summer in Galway. The stopover here in 2009 was worth around €56 million to the local economy and attracted 650,000 spectators to Galway.

“The finale later this month will be even bigger and is expected to be worth as much as €80 million and bring to the city up to 800,000 people. That’s a lot of bednights, and will obviously have a massive impact on businesses operating in the service industry throughout the broader region, which will be able to maintain and increase their workforces in response to additional demand,” said Deputy Walsh.

Eva Dearie, Client Services Manager, Fáilte Ireland West, said the ripple effect of the Volvo Ocean Race will be spread out to the county.

“Places like Clifden have organised shuttle buses into the city and we are hearing reports that county towns and areas all along the Limerick to Galway and Dublin to Galway railway lines are getting increased bookings for the Volvo,” she said.

Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune


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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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