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November 27, 2009

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

Mr Corbett. (for Capt. Craig) amid ironical Nationalist cheers, yesterday asked the Chief Secretary in the House of Commons why the Union Jack was not flown as usual on the King’s Birthday from the Galway University buildings?

Mr. Birrell said that he was informed by the President of the College that, under the College Statutes, the King’s Birthday was not a holiday, and was not observed.

Mr Corbett: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all over the loyal parts of the North of Ireland (Nationalist laughter) – I know the right hon. Gentleman treats this with contempt – it is the custom to hoist the Union Jack, the emblem of the unity of Empire?

Mr. Birrell: I have no knowledge.

Wife shot

On Saturday morning a painful shooting affray took place at Ashfield, about three miles from Loughrea. It appears that a young man, as a result of a domestic quarrel, took up as alleged a loaded gun and told his wife he was going to shoot her.

Becoming alarmed, she rushed towards the door of an adjoining room, but before reaching it, she was hit on the back by a charge of gunshot, sustaining terrible injuries.

The man immediately afterwards reported the occurrence at the Kilchreest police barracks, where he was taken into custody.

Fire death

Early on the morning of Tuesday, 23rd inst. The house of a man named Tom Toole, adjacent to the National Bank, Clifden, was discovered to be on fire by Constables Mannion and Barrett, whose houses adjoin. The constables were awakened by the smoke of the burning house entering their rooms, and they got quickly out of their beds at about 4.30am to find the top storey of the dwelling ablaze.

All the available police and many of the townspeople, including Dr. Gorham and Mr. Ruttledge, of the National Bank, were soon on the scene, but their efforts to extinguish the flames were for a very considerable time unavailing, owing to the fact that there was neither hose, hydrant nor fire engine of any description provided for the town.

1934

Petrol pump grant

At the weekly meeting of the Finance Committee of Galway County Council on Saturday, Mr Martin Quinn, chairman, said he had received a letter from the Department stating that the Council should grant a licence for a petrol pump to Mr. E. Sweeney, Corrib Hotel, Oughterard.

The Council had heard an application by Mr. Sweeney for a petrol pump licence and had refused the application. Mr. Sweeney had appealed to the Department and the Department’s order now was a result of that appeal.

Salthill Church

Mr. Owen Larkin, the well-known Ballinasloe contractor, secured the contract for the new church at Salthill, Galway, and work was begun on Tuesday. It is expected that the church will be completed by early summer of 1936. This will give to Salthill a new and badly-needed place of Catholic worship and it is felt that it will bring more people to the increasingly popular seaside resort.

Very Rev. P. Canon Davis, P.P., has already erected a church at Furbough and when the Salthill church is completed, it will give to the parish of Rahoon five places of worship: St. Joseph’s (Galway), Bushypark, Barna, Furbough and Salthill. Ultimately, it is believed that the parish of Rahoon will have to be divided so that it will become two separate parishes, one for the rural area, and one for the immediate precincts of the city.

Vermin threat

A determined effort to exterminate vermin, an increasing danger to game in Connemara, is now being made. Following a meeting of the Connemara Vermin Destruction Association, the notice below has been issued and is prominently displayed throughout the area.

“From November 15 to December 31, 1934, the following rewards will be paid: Fox, 5s. The whole fox, head, skin and tail to be brought to one of the undermentioned who will give a receipt for the skull. The secretary, W. Langen, Inver Lodge, Maam Cross, will pay, by cheque or postal order, when the receipt is sent to him. Badger 2s. 6d., cash will be paid, and a receipt taken for grey crows, 9d., hawks, 9d., magpies 6d.”

Beet factory

The sugar beet campaign will open in Tuam Beet Factory on Friday, 26th inst., which is the first anniversary of the cutting of the first sod on the factory site. The beet has been arriving at the factory for the past week by rail and regular supplies will reach there from Friday daily. Whilst the exact date of the official opening has not yet been definitely fixed, it is expected to be about December 5.

Loughrea jobs need

The Ceann Comhairle has impressed on the Minister for Industry the great need of employment in Loughrea and the desirability of establishing something to give permanent work. He advised the Industrial Association (local) to meet and examine the question of capital and what they would regard as a suitable industry for the town. 1959

Stolen wheel

“If a similar case comes before me again I will sent the persons concerned to jail without the option of a fine,” said Justice P.J. Loftus at Dunmore Court where he imposed fines of £5 on two local men who pleaded guilty to stealing a motor car wheel, tyre and tube valued £10, the property of Frank O’Brien, Kilkerrin, at Dunmore.

Supt. Brett, Tuam, said that Mr. O’Brien had arrived in Dunmore from Kilkerrin with the intention of going with a dance band. When he returned in the early hours of the morning he got into his own car and travelled some distance when he discovered that one of his wheels had been replaced with a worn tyre. The wheel was a smaller type than the original.

Menu change

The substitution of mutton for beef and bacon at Ballinasloe Mental Hospital, where there are over 2,000 patients and staff, has resulted in a considerable reduction on costs. At a meeting last October, it was suggested that as prices for sheep and lambs were very low and as there was a surplus of sheep in the county, the changeover from bacon to mutton on some days of the week should show a big saving.

Crimewave

Notwithstanding warnings issued by the Gardaí the wave of vandalism and robberies continues in Galway. During the past week, three petrol pump bowls were broken in two separate filling stations in the Salthill area. The headlamps of a stationary car in the area were smashed, but when the culprits were followed, they made good their escape during last weekend. Three seats and part of the floor of the Savoy Cinema were destroyed by fire.

A box of chocolates was stolen in broad daylight from a shop in Salthill. The culprits who were successful on the first occasion are said to have attempted a similar robbery .

Sufficient phones

Mr. FIntan Coogan, T.D., has received the following reply from the Secretary, the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, regarding telephones in Galway City: “The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs desires me to refer to your enquiry regarding waiting applicants for telephones in Galway City. Excluding 46 telephones which are in course of installation, there are 33 waiting applicants all of whom will, it is hoped, have service within the next four months.

“An extensive cabling scheme at present in progress is expected to be completed in May-June next when the whole city will be satisfactory from the point of view of cabling.”

Port scheme

The Minister for Transport and Fuel, Mr. E. Childers, said in the Dáil that he hoped to have reached a decision on the Galway Harbour Development Scheme before Christmas, or a little later. The Minister was replying to questions by Ald. F. Coogan, T.D., who asked if it was the Minister’s intention to request the Harbour Board to re-advertise for the scheme, or accept the next lowest tender.

1984

Taxman threat

Thousands of farmers in County Galway were warned this week to prepare themselves for the clutches of the taxman – for they are potentially liable for the Government’s new Land Tax. That was the grim news spelled out by a Farm Management specialist who said that all full-time farmers with 20 adjusted acres or more would be liable for the £10 per adjusted acre tax.

Water hold-up

The Government was this week accused of condemning thousands of families in County Galway to further years of drudgery – by holding up grant money for sixty group water schemes involving about 2,500 houses.

A Fianna Fáil member of Galway County Council said that group water schemes were experiencing delays as long as eleven months at varying stages of development because the Government did not want to hand over the grant money.

Row settled

A major row between city officials and a group of residents worried about the safety of their children has been settled by a seven-point agreement reached on safety measures at the city’s first roundabout near Corrib Park. People living in the 317-house Corrib Park estate formed a human barricade earlier this week to prevent the roundabout from being opened by Galway Corporation.

But their action has been called off following agreement on the provision of a new four foot high wall running along a new section of road linking the roundabout with Seamus Quirke Road.

Seapoint ballroom

Not even the angry weather could have kept them away from Seapoint last night. They had come in their hundreds to pay tribute to the ballroom that had given them so many memories. It was only fitting therefore that it should be Herb Miller and his nineteen-man orchestra that would add volumes to the nostalgia that was hanging in the air.

Lightning strike

A mother and her five children will have to spend Christmas away from their family home as a result of a freak bolt of lightning which struck the house on the outskirts of the city early yesterday morning. Mrs. Eileen Henihan’s bungalow home on Monument Road, Menlo was one of a number of houses in the area to be hit by lightning, but hers suffered the most damage, with a fire causing extensive damage to the attic and a burst water tank destroying ceilings.

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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Henshaw and McSharry set to field for Irish Wolfhounds in clash with England Saxons

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

CONNACHT’S rising stars Robbie Henshaw and Dave McSharry look set to named in the starting xv for the Ireland Wolfhounds who face the England Saxons in Galway this weekend when the team is announced later today (Thursday).

Robbie Henshaw is the only out-and-out full-back that was named Tuesday in the 23-man squad that will take on the English at the Sportsground this Friday (7.45pm).

Connacht’s centre McSharry and Ulster’s Darren Cave are the only two specialist centres named in the 23 man squad, which would also suggest the two youngsters are in line for a starting place.

Former Connacht out-half, Ian Keatley, Leinster’s second out-half Ian Madigan and Ulster’s number 10 Paddy Jackson and winger Andrew Trimble, although not specialist full-backs or centres, can all slot into the 12, 13 and 15 jerseys, however you’d expect the Irish management will hand debuts to Henshaw and McSharry given that they’ll be playing on their home turf.

Aged 19, Henshaw was still playing Schools Cup rugby last season. The Athlone born Connacht Academy back burst onto the scene at the beginning of the season when he filled the number 15 position for injured captain Gavin Duffy.

The Marist College and former Ireland U19 representative was so assured under the high ball, so impressive on the counter-attack and astute with the boot, that he retained the full-back position when Duffy returned from injury.

Connacht coach Eric Elwood should be commended for giving the young Buccaneers clubman a chance to shine and Henshaw has grasped that opportunity with both hands, lighting up the RaboDirect PRO 12 and Heineken Cup campaigns for the Westerners this season.

Henshaw has played in all 19 of Connacht’s games this season and his man-of-the-match display last weekend in the Heineken Cup against Zebre caught the eye of Irish attack coach, Les Kiss.

“We’re really excited about his development. He had to step into the breach when Connacht lost Gavin Duffy, and he was playing 13 earlier in the year. When he had to put his hand up for that, he’s done an exceptional job,” Kiss said.

The 22-year-old McSharry was desperately unlucky to miss out on Declan Kidney’s Ireland squad for the autumn internationals and the Dubliner will relish the opportunity this Friday night to show-off his speed, turn of foot, deft hands and finishing prowess that has been a mark of this season, in particular, with Connacht.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Drinks battle brewing as kettle sales go off the boil

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 30-Jan-2013

You’d have thought there might have been three certainties in Irish life – death, taxes and the cup of tea – but it now seems that our post-tiger sophistication in endangering the consumption of the nation’s second favourite beverage.

Because with all of our new-fangled coffee machines, percolators, cappuccino and expresso makers, sales of the humble kettle are falling faster than our hopes of a write-off on the promissory note.

And even when we do make tea, we don’t need a tea pot – it’s all tea bags these days because nobody wants a mouthful of tea leaves, unless they’re planning to have their fortune told.

Sales of kettles are in decline as consumers opt for fancy coffee makers, hot water dispensers and other methods to make their beverages – at least that’s the case in the UK and there’s no reason to think it’s any different here.

And it’s only seems like yesterday when, if the hearth was the heart of every home, the kettle that hung over the inglenook fireplace or whistled gently on the range, was the soul.

You’d see groups gathered in bogs, footing turf and then breaking off to boil the battered old kettle for a well-earned break.

The first thing that happened when you dropped into someone’s home was the host saying: “Hold on until I stick on the kettle.”

When the prodigal son arrived home for the Christmas, first item on the agenda was a cup of tea; when bad news was delivered, the pain was eased with a cuppa; last thing at night was tea with a biscuit.

The arrival of electric kettles meant there was no longer an eternal search for matches to light the gas; we even had little electric coils that would boil water into tea in our cup if you were mean enough or unlucky enough to be making tea for one.

We went away on sun holidays, armed with an ocean of lotion and a suitcase full of Denny’s sausages and Barry’s Tea. Spanish tea just wasn’t the same and there was nothing like a nice brew to lift the sagging spirits.

We even coped with the arrival of coffee because for a long time it was just Maxwell House or Nescafe granules which might have seemed like the height of sophistication – but they still required a kettle.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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