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July 2, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Telephone system

The secretary of the General Post Office wrote to the Ballinasloe Urban Council regarding the telephone system, that an officer will visit the town. The quoting of terms for extending the telephone is dependent on the sufficient number of subscribers.

Mr. Elder: What advantage?

Chairman: In my mind, it would be a great advantage. Every town is getting in the telephone system.

Abusive language

At the City Petty Sessions, a woman summoned her son for abusive language. Mr. O’Dea, solr., appeared for the defendant.

Complainant swore that defendant was her son. When he takes drink he comes to her house and annoys her. He did so on last Thursday week.

Mr. O’Dea: On the day in question, did you attack him first? – I did not.

Did you attack him and break his ribs on a previous occasion? – He came to the house and we assaulted him.

Did he pass the half-door on the day in question? – He did not.

Was it a match he wanted? – He wanted a book from his brother, and said if he did not get it, he would dash his brains out.

Mr. O’Dea: He is a literary man (laughter).

Constable Farrell swore on the 9th of June he saw the defendant. He had a cut in his head which he said was inflicted by complainant and her family.

The Chairman said defendant should keep away from his mother’s house. The case was dismissed.


Boating accident

A boat in which Thomas Flaherty, Claddagh, Galway, was crossing the Corrib River between O’Brien’s Bridge and the Salmon Weir Bridge on Saturday evening capsized and he was thrown into a strong current. A powerful swimmer, accounted one of the best in Claddagh, Flaherty had little difficulty in swimming to a point on the bank, from which he was later rescued by boat.

It appears that Flaherty, who is a bailiff employed by the Galway Fishery Conservators, was crossing to clean the Nuns’ Island weir. He stepped on the side of the boat and the boat dipped and took in a lot of water.

When Flaherty saw this, he jumped back into the boat. The weight of the water in the boat broke a bar connected with the wire stretched across the river by which Flaherty was guiding the boat across.

The boat drifted away and struck a rock a short distance down.

The impact caused Flaherty to stumble and he fell out. He swam to a wall on the bank and remained there until a fishing boat in charge of a Mr. McDonagh put out from the Tower near Wolf Tone Bridge and took him aboard. A big crowd collected on O’Brien’s Bridge and witnessed the incident.

Storm havoc

The most devastating thunderstorm experienced here for over sixty years swept over South, West and North Connemara on Tuesday evening and the early hours of Wednesday morning. Damage was heavy and extensive, but no loss of human life is reported so far.

Telephonic and telegraphic communications were completely disorganised by lightning and repairs to the telegraph wires were still being carried out on Wednesday evening.

Numbers of sheep and cattle were killed especially in the hill country around the Twelve Pins. From Rosmuck, Lettermore and Carraroe, phenomenal damage to houses by flooding is reported.

The thunderstorm was accompanied by a cloudburst in Recess and Maam Valley district. The resultant floods caused severe damage to a bridge between Maam Cross and Oughterard on the main Galway-Clifden road.

Mails and newspapers coming to Clifden on Wednesday morning were delayed for several hours en route. A gang of twenty workmen were sent out from Galway to assist in repairing the bridge. The road near Recess post office was very badly flooded – a landslide carried a bit of cliff across the road near the post office.

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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