Date Published: 27-Aug-2012
By Dearbhla Geraghty
Missing: Ferret! Hardly a notice you would expect to see coming through your letterbox, but that is exactly what greeted hundreds of householders in the Cappagh Road area on Friday morning.
Lithuanian couple, Agnes Puskoriene and Remis Puskorius, were due to celebrate six years of marriage on Saturday, but their plans were temporarily put on hold when one of their three pet ferrets, Adena, went missing.
Agnes, a photographer who rescues these unwanted and abandoned pets, and her husband found both Adena, a four year old albino ferret, and Oscar, a two year old ferret polecat mix, had got out of the house through a ventilation hole.
She grabbed a box of ‘ferret treats’ and went outside with their dog, Savannah, who managed to sniff Oscar’s scent and lead them to his hiding place – two hours later.
Unfortunately, the search for Adena was not so straightforward. Agnes printed posters and hundreds of flyers, and started dropping them around houses; she rang radio stations, contacted local papers, and drove to the various vets and pet shops in the city.
A difficult 24 hours passed without their “white fluff” in the house, but the search never stopped.
“That afternoon I printed another set of flyers asking people to check their sheds thoroughly, not forgetting any ventilation gaps they might have near the ground,” she recalls.
“An amazing lady, Yvonne, had organised a search party and looked around the estate and park while we were out. She called me and said that kids had seen some strange white animal around the apartments outside our estate.” Another lady reported spotting the animal running across the road towards the local park . . . but searches were fruitless.
As soon as the sun rose the following morning, on Sunday, Agnes and Remis formed a search party through placing invitations on Facebook, and handed out more flyers.
That night at 12.14am, they got a call from a neighbour who apologised for ringing so late. He had seen Adena outside his house.
“I don’t think I heard the rest, as I jumped, put one of my legs half into my trousers, hopped down into the office to Remis and we both bolted down the stairs and into the street,” she says.
They eventually located Adena – 48 hours after going missing – walking from the house next door into their own front garden, much to the delight of her ‘parents’, and siblings waiting at home.
Apart from being a bit dirty, Adena did not look like she had gone hungry, and was back to normal very quickly.
“I cannot thank everybody enough who helped me and offered me help – these people know who they are and without you I would have been in pieces!”
Agnes runs a community called Irish Ferrets, which occasionally rescues unwanted and abandoned ferrets, and tries to disperse the misconception that ferrets are wild animals, rather than pets.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.