Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Lines written on hearing Ôa blithe newcomerÕ at Glenlo

Published

on

Date Published: {J}

Have you ever had an instant when you wished you didn’t know something? In the age of immediate access to information from all over the world, that probably sounds like heresy.

With sources like the world wide web, there is almost nothing which can’t be found, or checked, at a keystroke.

If you forget a particular reference, or you can’t quite track down that book … all you’ve got to do is open the laptop and, not alone can you check a reference, but, if you’re luck holds, there may even be a piece of video or audio on the subject as well.

Gone are the days when, like Peter Sellers in his short comedy, The Running, Jumping and Standing Up Film, you might lie awake at night tortured by a line from a poem and not being able to remember the rest of the verse.

Sellers was in that predicament with Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard and the line ‘the ploughman homeward plods his weary way’. He proceeded to wake all of his friends ringing them looking for the next line!

Within a short time, half the neighbourhood was trying to remember the line. But that was in the days long before the Internet. By the way, in case you’re sleepless, the next line was … ‘and leaves the world to darkness and to me’.

Of course, I keep on giving people that health warning that there are some web sites which you simply can’t trust – for instance, the ones that any headbanger can access and amend as he/she feels fit. The type of site that tells you that Kiltimagh has a large population of vampires!

So, why do I say there are things you are almost better off not knowing? Well, I have little doubt that I would have been better off not knowing that two of the great screen idols of my childhood – Tom Mix and Rock Hudson – were gay.

I was better prepared for the latter, because the word on Rock Hudson came out after years of speculation … but, dammit, Tom Mix was my hero in the days when it cost four old pence to get into the local cinema and ‘gay’ still meant something else entirely.

Tom Mix was the cowboy who starred in the weekly follow-up serials, who dressed perfectly, wore a white hat to show he was one of ‘the good fellas,’ and he was always ready to give the girls a song – if nothing else!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Early tries scupper Wegians in Bateman Cup

Published

on

Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

WOMAN TOLD TO LEAVE GALWAY OR FACE JAIL

Continue Reading

Archive News

Killimor wary of favourites tag for semi-final

Published

on

Date Published: 30-Jan-2013

images/files/images/sarsfields.JPG

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending