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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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Archive News

City boys struggle in schools soccer final



Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

Coláiste na Coiribe 1

Our Lady’s Belmullet 3

Keith Kelly  in Castlebar

COLÁISTE Coláiste na Coiribe suffered Connacht final heartbreak for the third time in five years yesterday (Thursday) when they went down to the undisputed kingpins of Connacht B schools soccer, Our Lady’s Secondary of Belmullet, in the provincial final in Castlebar.

The game was moved from the GMIT campus in the town to the synthetic pitch of Castlebar Celtic due to a frozen pitch, and in truth the city side struggled to warm to the task against the reigning champions, who adapted far better to the artificial surface.

The Galway outfit did have the brighter start, pinning their opponents back on what was a very narrow pitch – there was just three yards between the sideline and the edge of the 18-yard box – but once Belmullet got their passing game going, they took the game by the scruff of the neck and never looked like relinquishing that grip,

They had just one goal to show at half-time for their dominance, but two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second half all but wrapped up the title, and while Coláiste na Coiribe worked hard to get back into the game – and pulled a goal back through Cathal O’Regan – they came up short against a well-drilled Mayo side.

Daithí Ó Máille caused the Belmullet defence plenty of problems down the right, and he came close to opening the scoring in the third minute when played in by Eric Ó Gionnain, but his first touch took him wide and the narrow angle proved his undoing.

Ó Gionnain then forced Belmullet ’keeper Jack Deane into a mistake when there looked to be little danger, but the ’keeper managed to scramble the ball out for a corner. Coláiste na Coiribe were unable to build on that impressive start, however, and Belmullet soon took control of what was at times an end-to-end game.

Daniel Lenihan and Caolann Malone had a busy day keeping the livewire Justin Healy under wraps, but the striker broke free in the 16th minute to test Ruairi Dempsey in the Coláiste na Coiribe goal, a test the ’keeper passed comfortably.

Dempsey then brilliantly denied the Mayo side the opener two minutes later when a corner from the left found Peter Caffrey unmarked, but his shot from six yards was brilliantly beaten away by Dempsey, and the Belmullet captain’s follow-up effort hit the post and went wide.

Kyle O’Reilly sent a shot wide from inside the box in the 24th minute, and Healy and Tommy Conroy linked up three minutes later down the right, but Conroy’s teasing ball across the face of goal eluded the inrushing attackers.

The Mayo side finally got the breakthrough on the half-hour mark when Eoin O’Donoghue got a head on Gary Boylan’s free-kick to direct the ball into the path of Conroy, and he fired home from inside the six yard box from what looked like an offside position.

It was no more than Belmullet deserved considering their dominance, and they as good as wrapped up the final early in the second half when scoring twice in three minutes. The impressive Boylan got both, the first a drive from just inside the box that gave Dempsey no chance in the 51st minute after Belmullet broke from a Coláiste na Coiribe corner; the second in the 54th minute when the midfielder pounced on a loose ball to drill home a shot from 20 yards out.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Charity shops still delivering the goods in tough times



Date Published: 31-Jan-2013

Government funding for Galway Airport could be in doubt as a result of the Budget.

The Department of Transport has confirmed that funding announced last year for regional airports is under review.

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