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January 13, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Tuam Courthouse

His Honour, Judge Anderson, Recorder, at the Tuam Quarter Sessions (Hilary Term), who was accompanied on the Bench by Mr. H.P. Shiel, R.M., now drew Mr. Glynn’s attention to the fact that one of the magistrates had recently to leave the Bench owing to the cold of the Courthouse.

Mr. Glynn, solr. (and Chairman of the Co. Council), stated he believed such happened. The Council had already spent such a large sum on the building that he believed they would expend nothing further.

His Honour: It is very hard to get them to spend anything on it.

Mr. Glynn: I understand that the magistrate was very old, and that he was very hot when he came in (laughter).

Mr. Concannon asked was there any heating apparatus upstairs in the building.

Mr. Hosty said there used to be one, Mr. Glynn stated that it was not in working order.

Galway Hospital

A communication was received from the Board of Management, stating that the assessment on the Loughrea Union for the financial year ending 31st March, 1912, was £322 6s 3d at the rate of 1d in the £. The Clerk said the amount assessed on the Union last year was something like £240. It appeared they had increased it this year.

Mr. Murphy: Are you getting value for the money you pay towards Galway Hospital?

Chairman: Any critical case we have here is sent to Dublin.

The Clerk said until the law was amended, they would have to contribute their portion.

Chairman: It is certainly too bad that we have to pay such a big sum, without gaining any benefit by it.

Mr. Glennon: That is going on here for the last 20 years and no redress.

Chairman: Indeed, it is not.

Mr. Glennon: Since I came here first, I hear you complaining about it, and that is 20 years ago.

Chairman: The amount was not half as much that time as it is now.

Mr. Murphy: It is a very heavy item.

Chairman: Does anybody know what they are doing with all the money they get for the Galway hospital?

Mr. Murphy: They must be giving the staff a good time.


Petty thefts


Recent indications in your valuable newspaper and recent observations by myself and others indicate that, while we are fortunately immune from the graver crimes of highway or open robbery or banditry, there is a heinous aftermath of petty theft.

Bicycles have been and are being stolen, and in the City of Galway no one can leave a bicycle lamp even outside the sacred precincts of a church during public worship without this most contemptible form of petty thief coming along and committing a crime that, however petty it may seem, is against the law of God and man and brands him as a thief, until full and proper reparation is made.

This is indicative of a social and moral evil which, if permitted to go unchecked, may mark another stage in the downward trend of the general moral conduct of the community. Therefore, where the Church and its teachers, the citizens and parents, the Civic Guards and the justices have so signally failed in the past, they should now get busy to restore respect for the moral and natural law.

It should not require Sherlock Holmes to detect these crimes. To begin with, a bicycle lamp cannot easily be disposed of, as a pawnbroker is quite unlikely to accept it, as if he does and suspects it to have been stolen, he is bound to notify the guards.

The scope of inquiry ought to be narrowed by the knowledge which the Civic Guards possess, or ought to possess of the known thieves or kleptomaniacs in the town and of their haunts; and it ought to be comparatively easy to get the cooperation of citizens by getting them to put secret marks upon their lamps or other articles likely to be stolen and by keeping a casual plain-clothes watch upon likely scenes of theft. If a few examples were made, this evil would soon stop.

Please excuse the length of this letter; my sole apology is that I feel these miserable and petty thefts, which bring disgrace and discredit upon a Catholic City, ought to be ended.


County Galway

For more, read t his week’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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