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Lack of funding to sink city’s hopes of hosting world powerboating race



Date Published: 11-Sep-2009

Galway City may lose out on the opportunity to host another major and prestigious world boating event next Summer because of a lack of seed funding.
The phenomenal success of the Galway Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race earlier this year put the city in the world sailing and boating spotlight, with organisers of several other international races expressing an interest in bringing their maritime racing events to Galway Bay.
The backers of the World Powerboating Championships, a major event in the boating world, are still very enthusiastic about staging their 2010 in the city next Summer.
This event would cost just €2 million to stage and would have the potential to prove a successful money-spinner for the city with a similar economic multiplier effect that boosted city businesses’ coffers during the Volvo Race.
But Chairman of Let’s Do It Galway, John Killeen, told the Galway City Tribune that unless the city finds some mechanism to provide ‘seed-funding’ for the organisation and staging of events, Galway will be unable to attract the World Powerboating Championships next year or other major events.
Mr Killeen, who was one of the three businessmen responsible for securing the Volvo Race for Galway, says he has not yet finish work on this summer’s Volvo project – there are some outstanding debts still to be paid – and so he is not in a position to start planning another project.
“We are still fundraising for the Volvo – it’s not fully paid yet. We didn’t get all the money we were promised so until we get this project finished we won’t be starting another one,” he said.
Mr Killeen added that major sailing and boating event organisers, including from the World Powerboating Championships, have approached him about coming to Galway but funding is a major stumbling block to them actually following through on their wishes.
“There’re a number of big events that want to come to Galway – they’ve seen what we can do and how well the Volvo Race was organised. The problem is funding; the World Powerboating Championships want to come here next summer but you’d need about €2 million. Unless a mechanism for seed-funding is put in place the city will not be able to host these types of events.”
Mr Killeen said there had been preliminary discussions between the organisers of the Volvo Race Galway Stopover and Boston Stopover with a view to creating a new annual transatlantic yacht race between the two cities. However, at this stage and in the current economic climate, the new race is just a dream, he said.
Mr Killeen concluded that securing another Galway Volvo Race Stopover will not be possible unless a major multi-national company agrees to sponsor the event to the tune of around €20 million.
“We are optimistic; we have spoken to a number of multi-nationals with a view to sponsoring another (Volvo Race) Stopover here. I’d say it’s 50/50 at the moment in the current economic climate. But if we can get a large multinational to back us then there’s a good chance we can secure the race again”.

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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Archive News

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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