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Jobs will continue to flood in thanks to Galway’s digital hub

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 19-Sep-2012

Hundreds more jobs are set to be created in the digital game industry here, as Galway secured its status as a European software ‘hub’ for multinational companies this week, following the announcement of 300 new jobs at Electronic Arts.

And other regions in the country are envious of Galway’s ability to attract some of the biggest companies around the world, according to a local TD.

The Chief Operating Officer of EA, Peter Moore, praised the Galway lifestyle, talent pool and infrastructure, saying the city was an obvious choice of location for their European Customer Experience Centre.

This was confirmed by the American Chamber of Commerce Western Region which said Galway is the ‘location of choice’.

On top of the 300 jobs, the IDA estimate this will lead to the creation of a further 210 ancillary jobs in the retail and hospitality sectors here.

The company announced 200 jobs for Galway in May 2010 – but the time it was launched in September 2011, a further 200 jobs were announced, and this week, another 300 were created, who will provide multilingual customer support.

And local Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh said he firmly believes Galway is now considered a ‘hub’ for digital media by multinationals.

“We’ve spoken about the ‘herd instinct’ before – these multinationals form a cluster together at a particular location because of the skilled workforce. We’ve done it in Galway with medical devices companies, the ICT sector (Information, Communication and Technology), and now we’re doing it with online gaming. We have EA in Parkmore and ZeniMax in Knocknacarra.

“There is a herd mentality and over the past decade, we have seen thousands of jobs created in Galway. There’s no reason why we can’t do the same with the gaming sector too.

“These companies talk to one another. I know the heads of two companies met in an executive lounge in Heathrow Airport – they got talking and one was on his way to Ireland to scout for a location. The other said there was only one place to go … Galway.

“It’s remarkable that less than a year ago, there were 400 jobs in EA, and now we have another 300. The head of EA said it himself; Galway is the place to be; skilled workforce, working environment, atmosphere, infrastructure, NUIG and GMIT. We have it all.

“Other regions are envious of Galway, there’s no doubt about that. We have the ability to attract the biggest players,” said Deputy Walsh.

See full story in 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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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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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