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June 2, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Shooting tragedy

The opening of the bathing season at Salthill, the picturesque Galway seaside resort, was marred when an appalling tragedy was enacted in a boarding house, a commercial traveller shooting his mother-in-law dead and injuring his two children, aged about four and five years, to such an extent that they are in a precarious condition in the Galway Infirmary.

From inquiries made, it appears the unfortunate man had been in financial trouble recently, which probably affected his mind.

Drunken assault

At the city petty sessions, a man was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Dominick-st., and assaulting Constable Donegan. The constable deposed that on the evening of May 17, he was on duty in Dominick-street, and the defendant was guilty of disorderly conduct.

He was interfering with another man, a blacksmith, who was working there. He was trying to get into the shop, and the owner was endeavouring to keep him out. Witness came on the scene and arrested him. He violently resisted arrest, and witness was forced to knock him down.

Defendant got hold of his cape and struck him twice, and prevented him from bringing him to the barrack. Only that another constable came to his assistance, he would have great difficulty in bringing the defendant to the barrack.

D.I. Heard said the man had been in jail since the assault, as he could not get bail. Constable Donegan said the man belongs to Munster-lane, but worked with a farmer in the Oranmore district. For being drunk and disorderly, the man was fined 5s and costs, and for the assault on the constable, he was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment.

The Chairman said the magistrates had taken into account the fact that he had already been in jail, and were letting him off with the very light sentence of a month.


June snow

Holidaymakers who intended to spend Whit Monday out of doors in Ballinasloe were disappointed. Rain fell all day, and in the afternoon there were heavy showers of hail and snow. To see snow on the ground for a couple of hours on June 1 was unusual, and the oldest inhabitant cannot recall an occasion when the weather was so wintry for the Whitsun holidays. All outdoor games and amusements were abandoned. Late in the evening, the heavy rain was accompanied by thunder and there were occasional flashes of lightning.

Cottages destroyed

Four occupied thatched cottages on Tullinadaly Road, Tuam, were destroyed by fire on Friday evening last. The fire was noticed about 8 o’clock when the thatch of one house was seen burning near the chimney. Owing to the dry nature of the thatch, the flame spread rapidly and the other adjoining houses became involved.

Gardaí Mulvey and Lynagh were soon on the scene and with a number of neighbours succeeded in the removal of all the inhabitants and practically their entire furniture. The difficulty of stopping the fire from spreading was rendered more difficult by the long distance from which water had to be conveyed in buckets and other vessels.


The nearest water pump is about 200 yards from the houses, and the river where was still further away. The houses, which were the property of Mr. Martin Corcoran, were occupied by Mrs. McHugh, Mrs. McGrath, Mrs. Flaherty and families and the Misses Smith.

It is not clear what was the origin of the fire, one statement being that it was a spark from a chimney on fire and another that it was the spark from papers lit by children. The occupiers of the houses have obtained temporary dwelling.

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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Archive News

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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