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November 17, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Hooker fire

In some altogether unaccountable way the hooker “Albatross”, a boat lying at the Galway Docks, went on fire in the small hours of Saturday morning, and only for the fearless efforts of the police, the outbreak might have been attended with the loss of life.

The craft belongs to a Martin McDonagh, an islander, and his only companion on board was Martin Walsh. Both slept in the hold and both awoke at the same time with a feeling of suffocation. Meanwhile, the police of the Dock station under command of Sergt. McMullen, after a prolonged, arduous and dangerous struggle they worsted the fire and save the boat and the men.

Spiddal assault

At Spiddal Petty Sessions, a man who is partially paralysed, charged another local man with assaulting him.

Complainant swore he was in Cotter’s public house when the defendant came in. There was an argument between them before 10pm when they left for home.

When the defendant overtook witness, he immediately knocked him down, inflicting a wound which had to be dressed by the district nurse. He was unable to go to the barrack to report the matter for some days.

Sergt. O’Neill swore to the state in which he found the complainant, who, he said, lost a great quantity of blood, and who after the assault had to be assisted into the house of a neighbour, where he had to stay several days.

The defendant, who produced no evidence for his defence, was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment with hard labour.


New fire engine

The Tuam Town Commissioners have got sanction for the raising of a loan of £600 for the purchase of a fire engine for the town. A committee was appointed to draw up a scheme for the control and supervision of the fire engine and the appointment of a fire brigade.

Dole fraud

At Galway District Court on Thursday, before District Justice Sean Mac Giollarnath, a man from Bohermore, Galway, was charged with making a false declaration for the purpose of obtaining unemployment assistance.

Mr. R.J. Kelly S.S. appeared for the complainant, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and Mr. J.C. O’Donnell, solr., appeared for the defendant.

Mr. Darcy, official of the Unemployment Exchange at Galway, gave evidence of dates on which defendant signed for unemployment assistance, and said that the defendant had been paid 2s. 10d.

Mr. O’Donnell said the facts were admitted. The man was married, with six children, and it would be very serious for him if a heavy penalty was imposed. The Justice fined him 15s.

Pub raid

Martin Glynn, publican, Mary-street, Galway, was charged with a breach of the licensing laws. Supt. S. O Murchadha, conducted the prosecution. Mr. H. St. John Blake, solr., defended.

Sergt. Sharkey said that with Guard McGee, he visited the defendant’s licenses premises at 11.30 on November Night (Oct. 31) and found 25 men, one of whom was bona fide, on the premises – Guard McGee also gave evidence of the visit.

Mr. Blake said that the publican was a bit “soft” or generous. He suggested that the case be adjourned for six months.

The Justice imposed a fine of £2, with endorsement.

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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