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June 16, 2010

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

Ballinasloe asylum

The financial condition of the District Asylum does not appear to be all that can be desired. At the meeting on Monday, a letter was read from the Treasurer, the agent of the Bank of Ireland, stating that the account was overdrawn by £5,000 and that unless provision was made to meet this he would have to refuse to honour cheques.

This state of things seems to have arisen from the committee cutting down the estimate of the R.M.S. which is evidently a false economy. The appeal to the Local Government Board to legalise the payment of interest on an overdraft, is not likely to meet the situation, and the reply of that body is likely to be that they have no power to do so.

Indecent assault

A shocking case of indecent assault was reported to the Tuam police as having occurred on the outskirts of the town on Saturday. The victim of the brutal attack was a child, said to be only four years, whose parents are of the tramp class.

A tailor, said to hail from Kilkenny city, aged 34 years, is accused of the offence. The police, on hearing of his description, immediately set out in chase of the man, who was arrested whilst on his way in the direction of Galway. He was charged before Mr. M. Kilgarriff, J.P., on Sunday, and remanded for eight days. He will be charged on Monday next, at the Petty Sessions. The little girl is presently in the Workhouse hospital, Tuam.

Prisoners’ fund

A meeting of the parish committee of the Craughwell Prisoners’ Defence Fund was held on Saturday night for the purpose of taking steps to make a house to house collection throughout the parish, to help to defray the expenses incurred in the defence of Messrs Dermody and Hynes.

As could be seen by the report of the proceedings of the last meeting of the Co. Committee, a sum of about £70 is still required to clear off all expenses in connection with the trial of these two men, whose innocence has been so clearly vindicated by the verdict of a Co. Dublin jury.

Rumoured picnic

We understand that some of the Tuam ladies are contemplating the organisation of a picnic, which is expected to come off shortly. With the prevailing craze amongst women for votes and equal civil rights as men, it is to be hoped that the Tuam ladies will, like the suffragettes, persist in the carrying out of their object, which the writer wishes may succeed and prove as pleasant as the similar function organised by their gentleman friends a short time ago.

1935

Petrol pumps

Mr. John J. Golding applied for permission to erect four petrol pumps in Eyre Square. Mr. Kennedy wrote to say he had no objection to the erection of three, nor to the fourth if the position were changed to suit his suggestion to the applicant. On the motion of Mr. Corbett, seconded by Mr. Cooke, the necessary permission was granted subject to Mr. Kennedy’s stipulation.

Clifden railway

The Railway Company, it is said, last week brought several lorry loads of sand from Galway to Clifden railway station. The sand, it is stated, was used in the making of a new traffic way from the platform to the former engine shed.

Surprise has been expressed at what is described as this “bringing of coals to Newcastle”. The rate for bringing flour by road is 10s. per ton. The advertisements which appeared last week asking for tenders for the purchase of the super-structure of the line is regarded in Connemara as an indication that all hopes of ever re-opening the line are vain.

New church

It is expected that the new church in the course of erection at Gorumna Island, South Connemara, will be completed and ready for the opening ceremony during the next month. An altar of Connemara marble has been installed by Messrs. Harrison, Dublin, and all the material used in the construction of the church is as far as possible, of Irish manufacture.

By-election campaign

The by-election campaign is progressing in Galway. Hundreds of meetings were addressed by speakers from the two big parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, over the weekend. Senator Padraic O Maille spoke in Irish and English. He asked the farmers if their ancestors would be prepared to sell the country for £4 or £5 in the price of the bullock. They would not, but would go down like men and women and not cringe under the economic war.

Mr. P. Beegan, T.D., said they were prepared to settle the economic war on fair and honest principles. The country was building up to a state of self-sufficiency. They were asked why Fianna Fáil did not declare a Republic.

They would declare a Republic when they were able to maintain it and by producing what the people wanted in food, and that was as important as taking up arms for the Republic.

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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Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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