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March 11, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Athenry’s lead

Athenry will give a lead to other towns in the county so far as the promotion of industry is concerned. It would be well in such towns as Loughrea, Gort and Tuam – their public men got their minds out of the atmosphere of breeding pedigree livestock and endeavoured to create employment for their townsmen and townswomen, who have to emigrate for want of a means of living.

Every small town should have an annual exhibition of at least local industries. The people of the small towns are blind to what is good for them, otherwise they would combine and save their people from ruin.


Constable Doherty summoned Patrick Hession for drunkenness.

Complainant: It is his first offence within twelve months.

The defendant said he had taken the pledge. A few drinks would knock him up.

Sergeant O’Neill summoned the same defendant for a similar offence; and Constable Fox had him also summoned to show why he should not be bound to the peace for a similar offence.

Chairman: Will you keep the pledge?

Defendant: I will.

Chairman: If I were to fine you, I would fine you 40s in each case. I will give you this chance.

The cases were adjourned for three months.

Timber theft

Lord Francis Harvey prosecuted John Treacy for the alleged larceny of branches of trees from Garbally demesne.

Constable French, in answer to Mr Davidson (who appeared for complainant), said he was on duty on the 21st February in Garbally. He was concealed in ambush in the demesne, and say three men carrying a branch of a tree.

When they saw the witness, they dropped it and ran away. He pursued the defendant and caught up on him, and he gave his name as John Treacy. The branch was about 14 feet long, and would be value for about 1s.

Defendant said he was only crossing from his own house through the demesne, and he gave a hand to lift the stick.

Chairman: Why did you run so?

Defendant: I did not run.

Witness: You did.

Mr. Davidson said this was occurring frequently, but the defendant met the case very fairly, which might be something in his favour.

A fine of 5s was imposed, with 1s compensation.


Airport rumour

There is a rumour in Clifden to the effect that Omey Strand at Claddaghduff was visited by two men during the week with a view to exploring the possibilities of an air port. It has not been possible to get confirmation.

Atlantic air service

Negotiations between interested parties and the Governments in London, Dublin, Newfoundland and the United States have just concluded, as a result of which there is a possibility of a regular trans-Atlantic air service between Galway Bay and Newfoundland in 7.5 hours being established within the next year. The scheme will provide for the building of a new aerodrome at Galway Bay.

A site for this aerodrome has already been selected at Furbough by Sir Alan Cobham, consultant to the Irish trans-Atlantic Corporation.

From Galway, it is a hop of 1,500 miles to the nearest point on the other side of the Atlantic – Notre Dame Bay.

Unemployment allotments

Galway Urban Council are at present considering the provision of an allotment scheme for the unemployed of the town. Under the Acquisition of Land (Allotments) Act which was passed by the Oireachtas last year, unemployed persons in urban areas can be provided by the local authorities with allotments of about one-eighth of a statute acre at a nominal rent, usually a shilling, for the growing of vegetables for themselves and their families and can also be provided with seeds, manures, etc., free of charge for the cultivation of the allotments.

Where the local authority has not land at its disposal, it can rent land and the difference between the amount of the rent and the amount paid by the allotment holders will be met by a State grant. The cost of seeds, manures, etc., will also be recouped to the local authority by means of a State grant.

In this way the scheme imposes no burden on the rates. For many reasons, the scheme is one that should receive the support of all interest in the social well-being of the unemployed. It is a scheme which tends to maintain morale, physical fitness and develop initiative.

Rail strike

Serious inconvenience and loss have been caused to the West by the Dublin rail strike which began over last weekend and is still continuing. Many trains running between Dublin and Galway have been several hours late and some buyers were prevented from attending Galway sheep and cattle fair on Wednesday morning.

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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