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July 29, 2010

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Date Published: {J}

Castle fire

The sincere sympathy of all goes out to Sir Valentine and Lady Blake of Menlo Castle in the dreadful disaster that has so suddenly overtaken them. Only a few days ago, the Blake family threw open their beautiful grounds at Menlo for the Galway Annual Regatta,. In a few hours, the consuming fire swept into nothingness, the sumptuous furniture, the valuable pictures, the ancient armoury, and all the cherished treasures that a building of such antiquity might be supposed to contain.

But infinitely more sad was the loss of human life and their terribly tragic circumstances under which it occurred. On the evening of Monday, Miss Blake was killed.

Drunk and incapable

Sergt. Connolly summoned a woman at Ballinasloe Petty Sessions for being drunk and incapable on the 16th inst. She had a child in her arms.

Chairman: Have you any question to ask the Constable?

Defendant: I came out of the Workhouse to look for work. It is twelve months since I took any drink.

Mr. O’Shaughnessy: The child might be killed.

The case was adjourned for a week to allow the defendant to take the Pledge.

Same complainant summoned the husband for being drunk and incapable. There were several previous convictions.

A fine of 5s and costs was imposed.

Tuam steamrolling

The Chairman of Tuam Town Commissioners said he had written to the Co. Surveyor, East Riding, who in his letter, stated that a steam roller, including a watering cart, exclusive of a horse, would cost between 35s and £2 per day.

They would require a man for the watering cart, four sweepers, and three or four carters, to spread the metal in advance of the roller. The Glaud Bridge people would supply all the labour, not including the spreading, and carting of material, at from 45s to 50s per day. The roller would consolidate from 50 to 60 tons of metal each day.

The new D.I.

The new District Inspector who has taken charge of Athenry is recognised as being a sensible man, and many of the ladies have expressed their opinions that he is “awfully nice”.

Ladies always use strange language when pronouncing their opinions about mankind. Anyhow, it is to be hoped that he won’t follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.

1935

Dockers’ strike

A serious situation developed in Galway on Monday morning when the SS Commber arrived at Galway docks with a cargo of grain for Messrs. Palmer. When the vessel docked the ensign was removed and burned. The crew were informed that it was in their own interests not to come ashore and the dockers refused to unload the boat.

On Monday night, at a public meeting in Eyre Square, it was unanimously resolved: “That as from nine o’clock on Tuesday morning, every Catholic worker was to down tools and not resume work until all the Orangemen had been driven out of Galway.”

Lady teachers

At the County Galway Vocational Education Committee meeting, a discussion took place on the question of lady teachers who continue in employment after marriage. The matter arose when Miss Fitzgerald, part-time teacher of Irish in Ahascragh, wrote to say that she intended getting married in the near future.

The committee were at the time considering the general question of the re-appointment of teachers.

Miss Ashe said her opinion on this subject was that no matter who the girl was, when she got married, she should stay at home and look after her place. There were a lot of other girls and boys looking for work.

The reverend chairman said this lady was only a part-time teacher and there was nothing in the Department’s regulations to prevent her from carrying on her work. If she were a whole-time officer, it would be different.

Miss Ashe: How many hours does she teach?

CEO: Two hours a day.

Mr. R.N. Sheridan, Departments’ Inspector: But all her teaching is done at night.

Very Rev. Canon Moran, S.P. said if a lady kept on her work after marriage, it would undoubtedly interfere with her domestic life, that is, if she proposed to carry on a normal domestic life.

Miss Ashe: You can take me as dissenting if you intend to allow the lady employees to remain after marriage.

The CEO said one difficulty presented itself to him. This lady was undoubtedly a very good official and the attendances at her classes were excellent, but suppose one of her classes went down at any time and they wanted to change her to another district, they would find it very difficult if she were married.

Chairman: She could resign then.

Answering Miss Ashe, the CEO said the lady was not married yet.

Miss Ashe: Well, give her till she is married and then she can resign. She then handed in a notice of motion that she will move at the next meeting, that all lady employees of the committee shall resign on marriage.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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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

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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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