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June 23, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Prisoner’s pathetic plea

At a special court held on Monday, Mr Kilbride, R.M., presiding, a man named Andrew Hopper, who has been employed as night porter in the Railway Hotel, was charged with the larceny of £55 18s 6d from a safe in the hotel.

In a statement, he wrote: “One night, I found out just by curiosity that the key of my pantry opened the bar door, a skeleton key it was, so I went in and helped myself to whiskey and brandy but never touched a penny; only took drink. Well I kept thinking about the money in the till and determined to steal it and clear out. I went in again on Friday morning, took two glasses of whiskey full, then opened the till and saw the key of the safe.

I opened it and when I saw the gold and notes, I could not resist them. I had no intention of touching the safe just the few pounds in the till, only took notes and gold out of the safe.

I had a suit of military uniform in my possession, so I put them on under my own clothes, took a box of cigars and cigarettes, put the money in my bag and took a return ticket to Athlone. In the train I counted the money and found I had £59 1s 6d after paying for my ticket. I never dreamt there was so much.

I met a girl who was going to Glasgow, so I went with her. I drank all day as I had no peace, but thinking of what I had done.


Now, when I am done for, it sounds hypocritical to say I am sorry; I only ask for mercy for my Kitty’s sake. I have lost my character, friends and everything over this false step of mine. This is the first time to have connection with the police. Of course I must be punished; I hope that they will deal easy with me, so that I won’t lose my army pension.

I am willing to hand it over and pay back all I have spent. Don’t make a jail bird of me; it is hard enough that I am in detention. After this no more drink, no more nights and days of torment.

Constable Costigan said the police in Newcastle-on-tyne handed him over £17 19s 4d with the prisoner and his military papers. The prisoner, who sat silent, was returned for trial to the ensuing Assizes.


Hit with a hen

Derreen District Court was held on Friday before Mr. Sean MacGiollarnath, D.J. Mary Farragher, Ballinastack, summoned Mary Burns, same place, for assault and for using abusive language towards her. Mr P.M. Hosty, solicitor, for complainant, and Mr. F.B. McDonogh, solr., for defendant.

Evidence was given that a dispute took place over the trespass of hens on May 7. Mrs. Farragher said that Mrs. Burns hit her with a stone and Mrs. Burns said Mrs. Farragher hit her with a hen.

Sergt. McDonogh, Cummer, said he saw Mrs. Farragher with a cut on the shin bone, caused, she alleged, by a stone thrown by defendant.

The Justice bound Mrs. Burns to the peace for twelve months in £5 bail for the assault and fined her 5s. and costs for using abusive language.

New factory

At a special meeting of the Galway Chamber of Commerce, held in the Chamber Institute on Tuesday evening, the President, Mr. T.J. W. Kenny, announced that there was a possibility of having a brush factory established in Galway shortly.

The factory, the President said, would be started on a big scale, and the capital required would be very little. The factory would be started without any assistance from outside or from the Industrial Credit Corporation.

It would given employment to about one hundred persons in the manufacture of all kinds of brushes. The company would be altogether a Galway-Mayo company. He felt sure that when the prospectus was issued, the factory would have the full support of Galway.

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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