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March 29, 2012



Date Published: 28-Mar-2012


Lunatic at large

The inhabitants of Tubber and surrounding districts were in a state of terror for the past few days, as a rumour was circulated that an able-bodied dangerous lunatic, who, it was alleged, escaped from Ennis Lunatic Asylum, was at large in the locality, and their fears were doubly increased when it was rumoured that he had a revolver in his possession.

The police and Asylum attendants searched through the county for the fugitive, but without result, as the lunatic, whose name is Rogers, hid in the woods all day, and only came out at night to demand food from local farmers by threats.

The people’s fears were, however, abated, on yesterday evening, when Constable Moriarty, of Tubber Station, captured the lunatic.

This was his second escape within the past six months. He was captured on the previous occasion in the mountains of Gilroe by three policemen and some Asylum attendants.

Carnmore shooting

On Friday night a dangerous shooting outrage took place at Renvyle, Oranmore. The house of a man named James Burke was fired into and the windows shattered, but fortunately none of the inmates were injured.

The attacking party fired a number of shots at close range, and on their departure discharged a volley of shots in the air. The occurrence, so convenient to the police barracks in Oranmore and following so quickly after the shooting outrage on the Castlegar hurlers at Rockhill, has created a great sensation in the district. Something in connection with the grazing of an evicted farm at Kinvara is locally assigned as the cause of the outrage.


Death trap

At Ussey on the Creggs-Ballymoe road, there is a steep hill with a sharp turn at the foot. Right in front of the traveller going downhill, there is an unprotected stream about four feet deep. This is a veritable death trap for motorists and cyclists and provision could be made immediately for cutting off the sharp corner or building a wall between the road and the stream, before any serious accident occurs there.


We fear that the lager beer factory which was to have been established at Spiddal has gone the way of other shadow factories that were to have been set up in the West. We wish it were otherwise, for this industry would have proved of very real value as a means of employment in one of the most necessitous areas along our coastline.

Within the memory of the fathers of some of Galway’s older citizens, the City had sixteen mills and other factories and a population of well over 30,000. Within the memory of the present generation, that population had fallen to little over 13,000. Today the population curve is rising rapidly once more.

In the natural order and at the present rate of progress and expansion, the population will soon be back to where it was a century ago. Without a wealthy and prosperous area surrounding the City and without a busy harbour, it would quite clearly be impossible to maintain that population unless the City were highly industrialised.

This is the problem we shall have to face and in facing it, we have got to realise that old established and independent “sheltered” industries that afford regular employment at good wages to a number of people are of much more value than smaller industries whose only means of survival is a protective tariff that affords them a monopoly against outside competition.

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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