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May 8, 1913

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Date Published: 08-May-2013

 1913 – GAEL DAY

Seldom, if ever, have such crowds assembled in Spiddal and Furbough as were seen there on Sunday last at the great hosting of the Gael. It was regrettable that owing to an unforeseen hitch, or a series of hitches, rather, the Aeraidheacht and public meeting were not held at midday, and the venue of the hurling final was Spiddal, not Furbough, as originally arranged.

But in spite of all, the match was witnessed by many hundreds of spectators. The play was excellent. Galway was to the fore at half time, which put great determination into the home team, with the result that the final score was: Spiddal 3 goals, Galway 2 goals 2 points.

1938 – GARDAI STONED AT WEDDING

A surprise visit paid to a wedding by a party of Gardaí on revenue duty was recalled at Derrynea District Court on Tuesday, before District Justice Sean Mac Giollarnath, when Michael McDonagh, Carraroe, and his daughter Brigid (now Mrs Beatty) were charged with obstructing the Gardaí in the discharge of their duty, and with assaulting Garda Anthony Duggan.

Garda Fitzgibbon, Carraroe, said that on November 16, he was in charge of a party of Gardaí who visited defendant’s house in search of poteen at 2am. There was a wedding in progress at the house and there were around forty persons present. The Gardaí searched the house, and then proceeded to search outside.

The crowd came rushing out of the house led by Michael McDonagh, who adopted a threatening attitude. Brigid McDonagh carried a shovel in her hand.

1963 – FIRE THREATENS VILLAGE

A mystery fire, which destroyed a £4,000 dance hall in Kilkerrin early on Sunday morning, threatened to engulf a corner of the tiny village (population 250). Flying sparks from the fire, which started before 4 o’clock, and blazed for nearly five hours, showered the area and endangered nearby petrol pumps, a hay shed and church property.

Captain John Keeley said the cause of the fire was a complete mystery. The fire started about forty minutes before the brigade was called. How the fire started is being investigated by the Gardaí.

1988 – SALTHILL’S SHAME

A scathing attack has been made on Galway corporation for allowing the Salthill seafront to deteriorate into a tattered and neglected state. The salvo has been fired by Deputy Bobby Molloy, who said the promenade area had come to present an ugly face to tourists – all for the sake of a few thousand pounds.

Deputy Molloy listed broken benches, rundown public toilets and below-standard swimming facilities as examples of how the area had become so rundown.

And the Salthill P.D. Deputy – who has lived all his life within a stone’s throw of the beach – called for the compilation of an overall plan for the seafront from the Claddagh to Knocknacarra, but added that running repairs are imperative before the summer season.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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