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January 20, 2012

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

1912

Big city blaze

Last night, a fire of very considerable magnitude broke out in Galway, and was not got under control until the buildings and equipment of one of our local industries had been completely destroyed. At a quarter to 8 the attention of twenty men working in the spade factory of Messrs. Beatty Bros., Mill street, was attracted by the crackling of timber in the storey overhead, where Mr. Oxley, Kerwin’s avenue, carries on a wool-carding business.

The fumes of smoke gathered almost simultaneously, and immediately it was ascertained that a devouring fire was eating its way through all on the floor overhead.

The flames had not leaped through the roof, which soon collapsed, emitting stormy showers of sparks from a rich luminous cloud that could be seen all over the city.

Fire brigade captain Joseph Molloy and his men placed a number of ladders against the walls and with a hardihood, daring, coolness and skill worthy of a fully-trained and oft-practised brigade, mounted to the summit and attacked the fire strenuously with a view to confining it to the premises for which there was now no hope. It was a seething cauldron.

The damage is covered by insurance and is reckoned to be very considerable. At the time of the outbreak, the foundry portion of the premises contained £1,500 of manufacturing stuff, apart from that consideration that the entire building has been turned into a shell.

What exactly was the origin of the fire nobody knows, and what is more, it is likely to remain a mystery. It is stated that during the course of the evening Mr. Oxley himself and a boy assistant had been in the place, but had left, it would appear, a considerable time before the outbreak was noticed.

Mr. De Caen had previously the lease of the building, which he sold to Mr. Beatty some years ago, and it is worthy of note that they were also burned down during Mr De Caen’s tenancy, and rumour has it that they were also burned down on one occasion before that. The fire smouldered on during the night and a number of men were left in charge of the place.

1937

Nurse loses 19 lbs

Advert: “Seven weeks ago,” writes a nurse, “I commenced a course of Kruschen Salts in order to try and reduce my weight, which was then 15 stone 7 lbs. I am delighted to be able to report that my weight is now 14 stone 2 lbs. I feel and look years younger than I did and am full of energy and vigour. Such a change I could never have believed possible.

“I have only purchases three bottles of Kruschen in the seven weeks, so that the treatment is not an expensive one, and I have suffered no discomfort at all. My age is 43 years, and I am full of gratitude for the benefit received,” – (Nurse) M.F.B.

The formula of Kruschen represents the ingredient salts of the mineral waters of those European Spas which have been used by generations of over-stout people to reduce weight. Gently, but surely, Kruschen rids the system of all fat-forming food refuse, of all poisons and harmful acids which give rise to rheumatism, headaches, and many other ills.

You can get Kruschen Salts at all chemists at 1.s. 9d. per bottle.

Maam landslide

Connemara was subjected to a continual downpour of rain during the week and roads were flooded in many places. On Tuesday, the rain-sodden road near Maam collapsed in a minor landslide, carrying a passing lorry with it. The driver escaped uninjured.

‘Flu epidemic

The bitter winds and rains of January have brought the ‘flu scourge to many parts of Ireland. Galway has been fortunate so far as only a mild type of cold seems to be prevalent. However, from reports, Mayo seems to be the most seriously affected county. Few parts of the county seem to have escaped the epidemic.

Several families in Claremorris are laid up. About twenty employers of the local bacon factory are on the sick list, and the factory is working short-handed. Several officials on the employment exchange are also ill. Three Sergeants and a number of Gardaí are on the sick list too.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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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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