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November 11, 2010



Date Published: {J}


Fist in the jaw

At Loughrea Petty Sessions on Thursday, Head-constable Drugan prosecuted Martin Huban for assaulting John Casey at Loughrea on the 20th of October last.

John Casey swore that the assault was on the fair day in the town. In the evening he got a fist in the jaw in Dunkellin-street, but he could not say who struck him. It was daylight, and he saw no crowd about. He was knocked senseless for about half a minute after getting the blow. He was able to get up without the assistance of anyone. He did not see the defendant about at the time. He was not willing to prosecute.


Constable Finan swore he saw three or four men standing outside Hynes’s publichouse, in a heated discussion, on the evening in question. He afterwards saw the defendant drawing out and strike Casey on the jaw. Casey was knocked to the ground by the blow. He told witness he did not know who struck him, and declined to prosecute.

Sergeant Cunningham, Kilchreest, said as far as he knew, the defendant was a respectable boy. A fine of 10s. 6d. and costs was imposed or the alternative of fourteen days in Galway Jail.

Kinvara shooting

About six o’clock on Sunday evening, a daring shooting outrage took place at Caherglissane, a village about three miles to the south of Kinvara. An armed party proceeded in the direction of Caherglissane farm, and, when opposite the house of Bartly Clayton, whose sons are herding the farm, deliberately fired eleven shots into the house. One of his daughters was engaged at the time preparing food for pigs, and it is stated that she had a most miraculous escape, receiving the contents of one of the charges in the hand, arm and shoulder. The reasons for the outrage is that the Claytons are herding the farm in opposition to the wishes of the people.


Poteen war

The Mountain Dew, for years the most famous of Connemara’s products, is becoming rapidly a very scarce commodity. A relentless war against the traffic is being waged by the authorities of Church and State throughout the area and in districts where, formerly, it was easy to procure poteen in any quantity from a half glass to a keg, it is now almost impossible to get it under any circumstances.

Severe penalties in the courts, coupled with the frown of the church, are having their effects on the illicit distillers, and it is no uncommon thing to be told that “since the mission” in certain infamous areas, poteen has ceased to be manufactured.

While formerly the war against poteen was pursued with vigour, it is now being pushed to extreme lengths by the new Irish-speaking Garda Divisons, whose linguistic capabilities place them in a better position to deal with the menace than were their predecessors.

Early in the present year, while the Redemptorist Fathers were giving missions in the poteen areas, the Gardaí opened what may be termed a big offensive and on many occasions since have pushed the war into the enemy camp.

At Oughterard, as before reported in Irish in the column, a very strong drive is going forward. Gardaí there, under Sergeant Monahan, have never been so active as they have been for the past few weeks. An intensive campaign is being carried on in the Collinamuck, Cornelisdrum, Wormhole and Ower districts.

As a result of a search in Ower on Tuesday, when some people, it is alleged, were thought the be under the influence of poteen, Sergeant Monahan and Garda McCarthy are said to have found a quantity of poteen in an outhouse which bore traces of having held a large fire.


There were cans of oil in the shed and it is stated that a number of barrels, said to have been used in the manufacture of poteen, were found outside. A further search of the bogs in the neighbourhood revealed a large, modern worm and cap neatly set in a wooden frame. A large still-head and arm were concealed in a boghole. The equipment was taken by the sergeant and the garda, who destroyed it.

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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