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Archive News

March 24, 2010



Date Published: {J}

Burglar enjoys himself

Before Mr. Justice Wright at Galway Assizes, Francis Goodwin pleaded guilty to the charge of having broken into the house of Capt. The Hon. J.B. Campbell, at Moycullen.

During Mr. Campbell’s absence, the house was in charge of a Mrs Morrison who visited occasionally to see that all was right.

On the 26th of February when approaching the house, she noticed several windows broken and on entering the house found a man of the tramp class dressed in a suit of coachman’s livery, and seated in a large armchair, before a very cheerful fire in the servants’ dining room.

Asked what he was doing there, he replied that he came in to warm himself and he intended to stay there till the weather got fine. Mrs Morrison having locked her prisoner in, sent her son, a boy of 12, to the nearest house for a man named Feeney, whom she left in charge, proceeding to the police barrack.

Mr Abbott, steward of the Home Farm, Moycullen, next arrived, and the prisoner was brought to the barrack. On the following Monday, Goodwin was conveyed in Oughterard to answer another charge of house-breaking in Connemara previous to this. Gallagher was sentenced to three months with hard labour.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

The National Holiday was celebrated with fitting solemnity in Galway. The day was observed as a general holiday. Business in the shops was suspended and from an early hour, crowds of country people thronged the streets. In all the churches, the various masses were attended by large congregations, and in most of them, sermons were preached in Irish. The arrival of the early morning train from Dublin brought added numbers from Tuam, Athenry, and the surrounding districts.

The annual procession through the streets was the event most anxiously looked forward to, and this year it eclipsed all the processions that have gone before.

At about twelve o’clock, the citizens and visitors congregated in the direction of the Square, which was to be the starting point of the procession.



Building schemes

Some grumbling is heard in Tuam about unemployment, but if every town in the Saorstat had less cause for complaint in this respect, the outlook would indeed be bright. The schemes coming into operation in Tuam within the next few months include the building of ninety houses, the contract for which has been given and sanctioned by the Local Government Department, and work will start within the next week or two.

This contract, costing £26,000, will be followed by another of an additional ninety houses. On the same site, a technical school is to be built.

Then the first section of a sewerage scheme, costing entirely £20,000, will be laid this year on the Dublin road, to be followed by other sections in Ballygaddy road, Galway road and Bishop Street.

A new cement road will be laid this year from the town to the Beet Factory at a cost of £12,000, and in addition to this, there will be improvement work begun at the factory within the next week or two, to be followed by a sugar campaigning period of four or five months, during which time 1,000 to 1,200 men will be employed.

Town Tenants

Good progress has been made in the organisation of the Ballinasloe Town Tenants’ Association. A large number of tenants and householders have been enrolled.

The committee of the branch visited Castlerea last week, where there was a meeting of the Connacht Executive Council. At that meeting, Mr Michael Keane, secretary of the Ballinasloe branch and district, and as organiser for the branch in the district.

The tenants in the town have taken up the matter very enthusiastically and seriously – there are now over 200 members.

Anglers’ prospects

Anglers on Lough Corrib have had a good time during March and great prospects are held out for the coming season. On March 6, eight anglers on the lake from Oughterard got 41 trout weighing 55lbs; on March 7, six others got 29 trout, weighing 42lbs; on March 8 five anglers got 27 trout weighing 36lbs; on March 9 six anglers got 38 trout weighing 46lbs; and on March 12 four anglers got 10 trout weighing 15lbs.

The weather throughout the month was particularly harsh and unsuitable for fishing. Experienced judges say that when the season advances, the Corrib is in for another record year. Bookings in the hotels would seem to show that this is true.

Corinthians beaten

Close on 2,000 spectators were present in the Sportsground, Galway on Sunday to see University College Galway take the Connacht Senior Cup off Corinthians, who were the holders for the past two seasons.

Corinthians did not look like winning at any period of the game, and although they more than held their own forward, they were completely outclassed in the back division. It finished UCG 19 to Corinthians 6 points.

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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