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November 25, 2010



Date Published: {J}



Since its launch on May 22 last year, the first issue of the paper appearing on that date, The “Connacht Tribune” has now made a permanent and profitable connection in every part of the County and its circulation in the city of Galway alone has now reached the equivalent number of copies originally provided for, while the entire weekly circulation to-day is SEVEN THOUSAND COPIES – a fact that speaks for itself as to the splendid success achieved by the newspaper after the first year’s trading. There is every prospect, with continued careful attention and management, that this circulation can be considerably increased.

Athenry U.I.L.

There is now every prospect that a first-class branch of the United Irish League will be established in Athenry in the immediate future. The people believe that for some time previous they were placed in a false position, and are ardently anxious to be identified with the National Movement: and as the meeting to be held on December 1 will afford them ample opportunity for that purpose, it is certain to be largely and representatively attended.

Stonebreaker’s grievance

At the weekly meeting of Galway Guardians, a letter was read from an inmate named Ptk. Leonard, saying that he should refuse to break stones unless he got eye-guards.

Mr. Redington said no doubt they get eye-guards elsewhere.

The Master told the Board that the man – a young man too – refused to break stones, and, he had reported him.

Mr. Ffrench: What will we make him do till we get the guards?

Mr. Moloney: Make him work.

Master: Without the eye-guards?

Mr. Moloney: Certainly.

Mr. Ffrench: If you enquire at the prison, they will tell you where to get them.

Clerk: Any jeweller will supply you with them. It was decided to provide half a dozen eye-guards.


Student meeting banned

The following motions were tabled for discussion at a meeting of the students of U.C.G. called for Tuesday night: ‘That we, the students of U.C.G., protest against the retention of Republican prisoners in Irish jails’, ‘That we condemn the deportation of Madame Gonne MacBride and Domhnal O Doncada, and that we approve of the action of the Republican candidates in Northern Ireland’.

A ‘Connacht Tribune’ representative was informed that the meeting was forbidden by the authorities. On Wednesday morning, U.C.G. was painted with slogans. Across the main gate leading into the archway in big white letters was painted “Up the I.R.A.”, and “Freedom of Speech”. The word “freedom” was painted in various other places in the college.

Christmas mail

The Luimneach left Galway Port on Thursday with 477 tons of sugar beet pulp from the Tuam sugar factory for Scotland. The Maigue came in with general cargo on Friday. On Saturday night, the Canard White Star Emer Samaria called, outward bound for Boston and New York. She took 103 passengers from Galway and 177 bags of mails, the largest consignment of mails this year. This increase marks the beginning of the Christmas traffic.

Houses demolition

Ballinasloe Urban Council decided at their meeting on Tuesday night to take immediate action to have the houses vacated in their clearance area demolished. The chairman (Mr. Connolly) said the Act definitely stated that the Council should do this if the landlords failed to do so. The landlords had been given ample notice.

A communication was read from the landlord’s solicitor in one area, stating that the roofs were taken off the houses, but the chairman said that this would not do. These places, if left with walls standing, would be eyesores and unsightly ruins.

The Council would level them and sell the material to pay their expenses, and if they did not realise the cost of demolition in this way, they could sue the landlords for the balance. Mr. Dunne, town surveyor, said the total cost of the houses proposed to be built under the Small Dwellings Act was about £2,570.

Clifden promenade

The secretary of the County Council finance committee reported that he had received from the Great Southern Railways Company a map of the portion of the now disused Galway-Clifden line which the County Council and Urban Council proposed to acquire.

Chairman: The Urban Council want some of that, don’t they?

The secretary asked Mr Cooke what the Urban Council proposed to do with their portion.

Mr Cooke: Just a promenade, I think.

Mr. Kennedy (county surveyor, West Riding): A promenade for the present with a view to connecting it up later on with the road that will join the main Galway-Oughterard road at Bushypark.

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

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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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