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May 3, 2012



Date Published: 02-May-2012


Salthill ‘invasion’

The summer is coming on us again with all the suddenness of a tropical dawn, and already one’s thoughts are turning to the seaside. Should the present heat continue throughout the month of May, we shall have illimitable oceans of days with the first streak of dawn at 1.30am and the last glimmer of daylight at 11pm.

Then is the time to think of the long lazy wash of rhythmic rollers as they capsize their surf on the beach of Salthill and the cooling freshness of a dip in Blackrock.

This consideration, however, is for the bathing season proper. But Salthill has other attractions, and its health-giving properties more immediately concern us.

It would be an adventuresome person who could sustain the regularity of a walk-out there during the biting cold of winter, and the nipping and eager air of spring, but the refreshing zephyr and the winds that blow from the south, are very welcome just at present, either in the morning before business, or in the evening, after a long day’s toil, and these may be always had at Salthill.

The difficulty lies in the way of adequate accommodation, but this, together with a great many other difficulties and discouragements which we are not sufficiently captious to specify, will, disappear in time, for it is in the nature of things that supply should equal demand.


For instance, we know that Mr McAlinney, hotel proprietor, could give accommodation for thirty new houses at least, and in other aspects, we feel sure there would be no insurmountable obstacles.


Industrial premises shortage

At the monthly meeting of the Galway Industrial Development Association, it was said that most people will be slow to believe that there is a decided dearth of suitable premises in Galway for industrial premises.

Yet this is a fact. Within the past two weeks, Galway lost a small industry to employ fifty hands or upwards for the reason that after three visits to the city, the promoters failed to find suitable premises.

Speculation is rife as to where the French hat factory will find temporary premises. Certain Galway people possessing suitable, though unused, buildings are, it would appear, sufficiently retrogressive to refuse to sell or rent them.

Sewerage scheme strike

The strike on the Spiddal sewerage scheme was after a number of discussions during the week between the contractors and representatives of the workers, settled on Thursday afternoon.

On Monday morning the matters in dispute were discussed, and it was arranged that the men should turn in to work on Tuesday morning. When representatives of Messrs. McNally contractors arrived in Spiddal on Tuesday morning, the men had not reported for work.

Messrs. McNally’s representatives again visited Spiddal on Wednesday and the position was again considered, and it was arranged that the men turn in for work on Thursday morning, but the men were not present on Thursday morning to resume. Late in the afternoon, thirteen men, including eight of the original workers, took up work on the scheme on wages of 30s per week.

Refusal to pay

The notice to quit served by Tuam Town Commissioners on tenants at Toberjarlath and Athenry Road houses expires on Saturday. The tenants are asking for a reduction of their rents from 7s. 3d. a week (which includes 1s 3d poor rate) to a rent of 5s. weekly, inclusive of the rates. It is understood that about 105 of the 120 tenants refuse to pay the 7s. 3d. a week.

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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