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June 9, 2012



Date Published: 06-Jun-2012


Throat slit

At a special court in Loughrea, an old man, who had been an inmate of the Loughrea Workhouse, was found in Cabbage-lane, Loughrea, in an unconscious state, having apparently attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat.

He was removed to the workhouse hospital where he was treated. In consequence of a statement by the man that he had been assaulted and robbed of a considerable sum of money, a labourer was subsequently arrested and charged with unlawfully assaulting the victim and robbing him of £35.

The victim said that on the day, he had £36 and some odd change in his possession. He remembered being in the company of the accused. After leaving a public house, he went down Athenry road with him.

The lodging house was full and the other man took him to his own house. He closed the door and put out the lighted candle.

“He knocked me down, he put his two knees on my chest. He searched all my pockets. I had the money in my own hands. I kept it as long as I could, but he took it. After taking the money, he opened the door and threw me out,” he said.

Accused, who declined to cross-examination, was remanded in custody. The injured man is making satisfactory progress towards recovery. The attempt on his life is attributed to the loss of his money.


Shocking cruelty

“A shocking case of cruelty to an animal,” was the description given by District Justice Hamilton at Dunmore District Court, when he sentenced a woman from Milltown to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour and ordered her to pay £5 5s. expenses on the charge of cruelty to a pig by allowing it to die of starvation.

Sergeant Moran, Milltown, said he visited defendant’s farmyard and found the skeleton of a pig in the outhouse. There were six to twelve inches of manure in the cabin. He found there the skeleton of a pig and the snout and leg of the animal were worn as if the animal had been endeavouring to get out of the shed.

A part of the door had been gnawed away as if gnawed at by the animal. There were spots of blood on the portion of the door lower down. Witness asked defendant why she had not got the pig buried, and she said she could not get anyone to bury it.

She said it had died some days ago in the previous week. She said it had been fed regularly out of a trough and when this trough was produced, it did not appear as if it had been used for some considerable time.

Galwaymen in Spain

There is much speculation as to the date of the return of the members of General O’Duffy’s Brigade, who left Ballinasloe district for Spain last October. It is known that correspondence has taken place between people interested locally in this matter and with General O’Duffy in Spain.

In a communication to a prominent local gentleman, the General invites him to allow his name to go forward as a candidate in the forthcoming election.

When approached, this gentleman did not deny that he was earnestly invited to stand as a candidate by the General, but beyond that, he would not discuss the matter further and requested that his name be not made public in regard to the matter for the present.


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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