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July 16, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Truant complaint

A complaint was dealt with before the Board of Guardians of the Tuam Union on a boy who would not go to school.

Chairman: What was the complaint?

Mr. Daly (Assistant Clerk): He would not go to school, he said that the boys were calling him names.

Chairman: Why don’t you go to school when you are sent?

Boy: The boys were calling me names

Chairman: Did you tell the master that?

Boy: No, sir.

Chairman: And why didn’t you? You will have to go to school. Would you like to be taken away from your foster parent and sent to an Industrial School?

Boy (crying): I would not, sir.

Chairman: If you don’t go to school regularly, we will have to send you to an Industrial School.

Mr. Dermody: Where you will be whipped.

The foster parent of the child intervened and said she would send him to school regularly.

Chairman: If the boys call you names, report it to the Master and they won’t do it again.

The discussion then ended, the Chairman giving a final caution to the boy, and stating that on the next occasion a complaint was made, the matter might be taken out of the Board of Guardians’ hands by the L.G. Board.

Land Commission

A land sub-commission court was held in Clifden on Tuesday, where several cases were heard and fought out by landlords and tenants who would be better employed in settling their differences out of court under the Act of last season which enables them to do so on equitable terms.

It is to be hoped that this is the last of the land commissions for the Connemara tenants, who should long since have been peasant proprietors under the 1903 Act.


Island convent

On the 15th of next month, August, what will probably be the smallest convent in Ireland will be founded by the Presentation Sisters at Tiernee in the lonely island of Gorumna, off the south-western coast of Connemara.

The Mother House of the new convent will be Tuam. From here at the request of the parish priest, Very Rev. Father P.J. McHugh, and of his Grace, the Archbishop of Tuam, the Archbishop of Tuam, four sisters will set out for Gorumna to become the nucleus of a convent that will assist greatly in catering for the temporal, spiritual and education needs of some of the bleak Gaedhealtacht parishes.

Already, Mr. Patrick Robison, contractor, Claremorris, who has completed his work on the new Church of Mary Immaculate in the same place, has commenced reconditioning the national school teacher’s residence which is to become the future Presentation Convent, Tiernee.

At present, it is hard to believe that the little schoolhouse and residence will eventually become an important conventual settlement. Only when one remembers the splendid work done in Achill by these same Sisters of the Presentation, is one reminder of the power of a Faith that knows no obstacles. Indeed, the new Convent and school will possess many features strikingly reminiscent of the schools at Keel.

The daily attendance at the schools at present averages ninety-seven children of the poorest families to be found west of the Shannon, and the sisters hope to substantially increase this figure.

Population increase

An increase in population of 20,000 persons in the Free State is shown in the estimate of the Registrar-General’s office. The population, says the quarterly return, in the middle of 1935 is estimated at 3,033,000 persons, or 1,545,000 males and 1,488,000 females. This excess of males over females in the Free State population make it remarkable among civilised nations.

Another historical anomaly is the fact that during the first quarter of 1935 the immigrants to this country were larger than that of emigrants to places out of Europe and not within the Mediterranean Sea. Only 200 persons during this period emigrated, while the number of immigrants from these places was 268. The main cause of the increase of population was natural increase, excess of births over deaths.

For more, read this 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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