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IDA optimistic on Galway job creation



Date Published: 08-Jan-2010

THE days when multinational companies announce they are locating in Galway with the creation of hundreds of jobs may be long gone – for now – but the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is optimistic about Galway City and County’s prospects of attracting high-end international companies for the ‘smart economy’ in 2010.

Despite a gloomy year, with the global and national economy taking a pounding, Galway ‘held its own’ in 2009 in terms of attracting several new multinational companies which created high-end, value-added jobs, according to the IDA.

Jim Murren, West Regional Director of IDA, says he is confident of attracting a handful of new companies to Galway in the coming year, although the numbers of jobs created will be in the dozens rather than hundreds as per the boom years.

Mr Murren says that not only did Galway continue to attract new investments in 2009 – including Lumension in August and in October – IDA supported companies, which are the main employers in Galway City, consolidated their bases here with significant investments in Research and Development (R&D) and collaborations with third level institutes.

Galway was this year spared massive job haemorrhaging that follows a major pull-out of a multinational such as Dell in Limerick, and although there were some notable casualties including up to 50 redundancies when long-term employer Steiner pulled-out of its Carnmore plant, Mr Murren says he is confident there will be no major negative jobs announcements by IDA backed firms in 2010.

Speaking to the Galway City Tribune, Mr Murren said the global economic recession did impact on the agency’s ability to attract investment to Galway, but the county still, at the very least, “held its own this year.”

Mr Murren also quelled fears that any of the major multi-nationals in Galway would pull out next year. “I am confident that won’t happen because we have a good strong base of companies. We have a good solid base of companies and while many of them had to trim back this year and cut their cloth to measure, they have become leaner and stronger as a result and will continue through this coming year.

“Against such a difficult global economic background, we did quite well in Galway. The major new investments were Lumension in August which announced the creation of 30 extra jobs on top of their existing 30 and then there was in October or November.

“Then there was the expansion of Hewlett Packard, where they announced two new R&D projects and Boston Scientific announced a €91 million investment in R&D, which is in addition to €50 million investment in 2008.

For more on this story see page 9 of this week’s City 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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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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