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Archive News

March 7, 2013



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013


Fever in Oughterard

At the meeting of the Oughterard Board of Guardians, Dr. Kennedy O’Brien reported that there were now seven typhus fever patients in the hospital, five of whom were convalescent, and the remaining two in a critical condition. In the event of further cases of fever from Lettermore, the master had fitted up the school room as a temporary hospital, but up to the present it had not been required.

Jail diet

Patrick Butler, a casual, who had visited Galway Workhouse for a night’s lodging, and who did not leave on the best terms with the Workhouse Master, gave the Galway magistrates some amusing views on politics and other matters on Monday, when he was summoned before a full Bench for refusing to break stones.

The defendant said he was in bad health that morning, and the stones that were in it – green granite stones – nobody could break them; so that there was no good talking about Home Rule or anything like that (laughter).

“You would want to boil the stones that were there before you could break them.” (renewed laughter).

Chairman, Mr. Joseph Kilbride said that whatever about the question of politics, that ratepayers must be protected. Defendant would have to go to jail for 14 days, where he would have to work at “hard labour”.

Defendant said it would be easy enough to work there if they would only feed them (laughter) but it was impossible to work on the stuff they were getting.

Chairman: I don’t know about that.

Defendant: Well I’m sure of it (loud laughter). He was then removed in custody.


New Cathedral

The people of Galway will be pleased to learn that his Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, has acquired a large extension of grounds at the Bowling Green, Galway, near the proposed site for the new Cathedral. With the area now at his disposal, his Lordship will be able to build a Cathedral second to none in Ireland.

£500,000 expenditure

Apart from the £40,000 odd which it is expected that the Government will give for unemployment relief schemes, the public expenditure in County Galway in the coming year will, it is estimated, be £475,428. If the £40,000 odd to be included, the gross total expenditure will run to over half a million pounds.

Before the rate collection in County Galway for the current year reached 60 per cent of the total warrants, the ratepayers of the county were informed that there would be an increase of approximately 4 3/4d. in the pound for the coming year.

The increase in the rates might be very well if there were a corresponding improvement in the economic conditions of the people, especially the farmers. Prices for certain farm stock and produce have increased, but not sufficiently to give the farming community as a whole a chance to live in decent comfort.

Even were an entirely satisfactory settlement to be arrived at in the Anglo-Eire negotiations, it would still take some time before the farmer could entirely recover from the effects of the long drawn out economic struggle with England.


Graveyard pilfering

Tinkers are desecrating and pilfering graves in the old cemetery at Rahoon, Galway. They are also taking lead from coffins in the cemetery and selling it in the city. Ald. Martin Walsh made these charges at the meeting of Galway Corporation. He called for action. The tinkers should be “flogged out of the area” of Rahoon.

Turbary plots

Mr. J. Geoghegan asked the Minister for Lands when he expects that turbary plots will be allocated to the householders living in Kilroe East and West, Spiddal, Co. Galway.

In reply, the Minister said: In South Connemara generally, in recent years the Land Commission have provided more than 300 turbary allotments, priority being given to areas in which the need was greatest.

Further allotments will be made on this basis, as circumstances permit. I understand that the majority of some thirty Kilroe applicants have sufficent turbary for immediate requirements but that enquiries are continuing with a view to developing an extensive bog in the locality to augment existing supplies.

City fire

Galway Fire Brigade and the E.S.B. repair service were alerted when fire broke out behind an electric meter in Cooke’s licensed premises, Leetle Street, on Monday evening. Both the brigade and the E.S.B. workers arrived at the same


On a recent visit to Menlo village I noticed that the stone, known as the Caher Stone, has been destroyed, apparently by employees of the local authority. This stone was of considerable antiquarian interest, and it is difficult to see how a public body could have acted in this way.

There is such a considerable number of such remains in the village, and I can see all these being removed in a short time, unless something is done to prevent it. Indeed, Menlo is perhaps the most interesting village in all Ireland and, from a commercial point of view alone, it behoves Galwegians to do something quickly about its preservation.


Exile (name and address enclosed).


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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Archive News

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Mervue United advance to the quarter-finals of U-17 FAI Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

On a weekend when the vast majority of the action fell by the wayside due to the inclement weather, Mervue United U-17 struck late to snatch a winner in Donegal as they qualified for the last eight of the FAI U-17 Cup following a success over Swilly Rovers.

Local League action saw just three games survive as OLBC notched a second half winner to defeat Hibernians to move into third position in the Premier League.

In the lower Divisions, table toppers Mervue United B and Moyne Villa continued on their merry ways with away wins over Bohemians and Naomh Briocain.

Swilly Rovers 0

Mervue United 1

In a game that was switched to a playable pitch in Fanad, Mervue United took a long time to assert their authority before striking late to give the home side no chance to respond.

The 89th minute winner was created by an Andrew Connolly flick on following a Ryan Manning thrown in and Schoolboy International Conor Melody made space for himself in the box before firing past Caolan Bolton.

It was no less than the visitors deserved against a young home side, but they had to work extremely hard for their victory.

While Anthoine O’Laoi missed a good first half opportunity, just a long range Manning free kick tested Bolton otherwise. Substitute John Migel Soler almost made an instant impact on the resumption, but was denied by a smart save.

Connolly, O’Laoi and Paul Healy all threatened a break though for the visitors, before a fine-tuned Melody eventually saved the day and secured the Mervue passage.

Mervue United: P Healy, Barry, Bailey, P Healy, Carroll, Melody, Assagbo, Manning, Cunningham (Soler), Connolly, O’Laoi.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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