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November 1, 2012

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 31-Oct-2012

1912

Drunken constables

A startling story just reaches us from Athenry. One night during the past week, two constables who had to go out on patrol duty set into the country rather the worse for drink, their rifles slung over their shoulders, and no lights on their machines.

After going some distance one of the wobbling and reckless policemen ran down a civilian named Pat Doherty, and of course got spilled himself.

What then did he do? Irritated at his discomfiture, took his rifle and belaboured the unfortunate man with it, inflicting such terrible injuries that he had to be removed in an unconscious state to Dr. Quinlan’s, where 26 stitches were put in his head.

A force of police was sent out to arrest the constable who so forgot himself. It is said his companion was not arrested, that he cleared out. We get this account from a reliable source, just as we go to Press, and we give it for what it is worth.

1937

Spiddal sewerage

The Spiddal sewerage scheme was completed on Saturday at a cost of roughly £2,750, but so far not one house in the village has been linked up with the mains. The scheme is therefore of no practical benefit to the village as yet, and a ‘Connacht Tribune’ reporter was informed that many householders will be slow to incur the expense of availing of it.

During the present summer, new footpaths were laid down in Spiddal and if every house in the village were now induced or compelled to install the modern sanitary accommodation made available, Spiddal would shortly become the cleanest and most attractive little holiday resort on the West of Ireland.

Migrants return

About fifty migratory labourers returned from the potato fields of England to their homes in the Carraroe area on Monday evening. They were mostly young men and boys, and judging from their merriment as they passed in special buses, they appear to have had a good season.

Hotel staff

According to a statement to The Connacht Tribune of a well-known southern hotel manageress at the recent annual meeting of the Irish Tourist Association, the vocational schools have failed to supply suitable staffs for employment. In Cork, Limerick, Galway or any other large centre, staffs have in most cases to be imported from Dublin.

Thirsty work

At Galway District Court before District Justice Sean Mac Giollarnath, the Attorney General summoned Charles Canavan, William-street, Galway, for breach of the licensing laws. Inspector Leen, G.S., prosecuted, and Mr. J. O’Donnell, solicitor, appeared for the defendant.

Sergeant Fitzgerald said that at 9.30pm on September 5 he was admitted to the licensed premises of defendant and found six men drinking there. When questioned by witness, one of the men found on the premises said: “I was dry after lighting up the harbour and I went in for a drink”.

Mr. O’Donnell pleaded guilty on behalf of the defendant, who, he said, purchased the premises last July. This was defendant’s first offence, and he asked that he be allowed off without an endorsement. The Justice imposed a fine of £2 with an endorsement.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Archive News

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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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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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