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Archive News

March 3, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Lazy horse

At a meeting of the Urban Council, Mr. Molloy reported that the black horse refused to work, and he suggested that he be sold.

Mr Costello: When did he develop this genius?

Mr. Crowley said the complaints about the horse were numerous. Mr. Griffin said he was awful.

Mr. Crowley: He does nothing except bite and eat grass.

Chairman (to the Press representatives): Gentlemen, don’t take that down; say that we have a most admirable horse for sale (laughter).

It was decided to sell the horse by public auction (or by any other way in which he can be disposed of).

Buy Irish

The Galway Industrial Development Association wrote asking if the Council had any resolution on the books with regard to supporting Irish goods. The query was prompted by the fact that in the Council’s advertisements there was no desire to acquire, or even to give preference to Irish goods. Several members said Irish goods always got preference in that Council.

Dogs, cats and rats

Arising out of a letter from the L.G. Board to Ballinasloe District Council on the subject of the rat destruction, Mr. Cahill said we must have some means of protecting the cat and dog if we want to put down the rat plague. How can it be put down when 5s is given for a dog’s tail and 1s for a cat’s. As far as I know, he said, vermin are accumulating to a great extent, because the cat and the dogs are murdered.

Mr. Cahill said parties were to be seen with three or four cat’s tails in their pockets. The Chairman told Mr. Gill to write to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Society and say that it was stated at their meeting that money is being paid for the tails of dogs and cats by Lord Ashtown.


Musical interlude

The proceedings at the special meeting of Galway County Council on Saturday were enlivenced by a verse of an Irish song sung by Tomas O’Niadh. The Council had decided to appoint twenty-three inspectors to enforce the terms of the Warble Fly (Treatment of Cattle Order), 1936, in the county and were considering the qualifications when Mr O’Niadh sang his verse.

Uneconomic proposition

At a County Council meeting, the secretary, Mr. C.I. O’Flynn, read a letter from the Office of Public Works stating that the scheme for the cleaning of the river from Pouladulla to Clifden for the purpose of reclaiming land had no economic justification and would not be included in any scheme of relief works. The cost of the reclaimed land, it was pointed out, would be about £300 per acre.

Unusual prosecution

An unusual prosecution was heard at Westport District Court when a number of people found dancing in an unlicensed dance hall were prosecuted. Supt. Glynn said the guards failed to find an owner, management committee or trustees to proceed against, and faced with such a position, a prosecution was ordered against the dancers.

The hall was built on “no man’s land” and was not in the County Council books for rating purposes. Mr. J.C. Garvey, defending, claimed that the superintendent not being a solicitor had no authority to represent the Attorney General.

The hall was rigidly restricted to the people of the chapel area, and the older inhabitants, feeling that it would be made a public amusement if a licence was taken out, declined to do so, as the place was reserved for games. The prosecution should fail as occupants could not be proved.

District Justice Coyne said he would adjourn to give these people a chance of taking out a licence. If they did not, he would hold the dancers were properly before the court.

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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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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