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November 5, 2009

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Date Published: 05-Nov-2009

On November 23, 1933, the first sod was cut on the site of Tuam Beet Factory and the anniversary of that historic occasion will be fittingly commemorated as actual manufacturing operations will commence in the factory on November 23, 1934.

There will be 600 men employed at the factory during the sugar-making season, and about 130 normally. A staff of 40 loading agents with field men will be permanently employed at the factory, and in addition, the railway company will have an increased staff to deal with the carriage of beet.

About 17,000 tons of washed beet will be worked per day. To supply this quota, 240 railway trucks of beet must reach the factory each day. The Great Southern Railways have built 800 new trucks and 50 lorries and trailers to meet the extra demand of the sugar industry.

The acreage of sugar beet for the Tuam factory is about 7,900 acres, and this will mean an estimated production of 11,000 tons of sugar. Now that the factory building is almost completed, some idea may be got by a visitor of the huge project and especially the wonderful engineering skill required in its erection.

Shops disgrace

“The big stores in Galway are open on Church holidays, and it is a disgrace to Galway. Church holidays do not get the observation they should get in this country,” said Mr. Michael Quinn at a general meeting of Galway County Council.

Mr. Quinn made the remarks following the moving of a proposition that all County Council work be suspended on Church holidays. Flood damageThe River Suck and its tributaries, which have been swollen by the heavy rains of last week, have overflown and submerged many large areas of bog and pasture between Ballinasloe and Shannonbridge. The floods have risen so high in the vicinity of the river near Ballinasloe that they almost reached the Market Square during last weekend. Large areas of flooding in many parts of the country have rendered access to stock difficult where large tracts of pastures are under water.

Land reclamation

At a cost of about £12,600, which would all be spent on local labour and material, almost forty acres of good land could be reclaimed from the sea within a stone’s throw of Clifden, Councillor Tomas O’Nee said.

1959

Tuam pool

A letter from Galway County Council to Tuam Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that the Council would consider any suggestions concerning the development of the Palace Grounds, Tuam.

The letter, in a reference to the proposed swimming pool for Tuam, pointed out that a site for a swimming pool had already been selected tentatively on the Clare River, near the sugar factory. A site on the Palace Grounds was considered unsuitable for several reasons, one being that the temperature of the water in the Palace Grounds was too cold.

Mr. H. Quinn suggested that a portion of the Palace Grounds should be developed as a Town Park.

Drunk in charge

A man of no fixed abode was fined £2 at Mountbellew Court for being in charge of a pedal cycle, £1 for being disorderly and 10/- for failing to keep on the left hand side of the road.Guard M.E. Conway, Mountbellew, said he found the defendant pushing a bike on the wrong side of the road and he had to take the bicycle forcibly from him. He also had to get assistance to bring him to the station. Defendant told the Justice: “I had a pint or two over and above.”Justice: “How many below the line had you if you were two over it?”

Hail storm

The Aran Islands had what was described as the coldest and stormiest night for years on Monday night. The islands were lashed by torrential showers of hailstones and some roofs were damaged by gale gusts of up to 80mph. Spanish and French trawlers operating off the coast were heading for the shelter of Kilronan.

In Galway, the gale gusts caused little damage while the westerly aspect of the wind saved Salthill from the worst of the storm.

Connemara lauded

A film made in Ireland by the Bavarian Television Company in association with Gael-Linn received one of the highest ratings ever when it was transmitted from all six TV stations in West Germany last week.In a public opinion poll following the broadcast, it was favoured by 97 per cent of the viewers.The film, ‘A Boy From Connemara’, was widely compared in favourable German press reviews to ‘Man of Aran.

Eyre Square plan

The Eyre Square Association has circulated a six-point improvement plan for the Square, which envisages the retention of the railings to be painted a bright colour, trimming of trees and removal of some, occasions beds of flowers and decorative shrubbery planted on outer fringe, additional toilets at railway end, flood lights at each corner of inside of the Square, portable flower boxes for use immediately after departure of carnival until grass returns to centre green patch and the green patch to remain.

1984

Big Bash plans

A Gala Mayoral Ball and a day-long programme of festivities will mark the end of Galway’s Quincentennial celebrations next month, it has been announced by the Corporation.

The Gala Ball, which will take place at UCG, is expected to attract up to 500 people at £20 a head. And the Corporation also plan to unveil the new Eyre Square Fountain and lay the foundation stone for the Corrib Bridge on the same day. It is also understood that Digital hope to unveil their contribution towards the city’s celebrations by opening their old folks’ park at Salthill.

Boundary changes

Major changes in public representation in County Galway, with Galway City to get new County Borough status and Galway County Council likely to get four or five extra councillors, are understood to be contained in a local government reform measure which is now being drafted in the Department of the Environment.

It is believed that the document proposes that the city change from Borough to County Borough – this would mean extra powers for the authority, an increase in the number of councillors from its present twelve, and the city first citizen changing from the title ‘Mayor’ to ‘Lord Mayor’.

Bogus collectors

Gardai have issued a warning to people to be on their guard for illegal collectors claiming to be helping the victims of the Ethiopian famine. And they have stressed that money should only be given to collectors who can show a Garda permit.

Dismissal row

A top State company boss who lost a £28,500 plus expenses per annum job last year after a bitter political wrangle is to bring an action claiming he was wrongfully dismissed.

Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief, Mr. Frank Flynn, who was fired last year because of a row with the Minister for the Gaeltacht (Paddy O’Toole), commences his action next week.

Mr Flynn is taking his action on the grounds that he was unfairly dismissed and that he didn’t receive minimum notice. The case, it it goes to hearing, is likely to bring all of the Údarás ‘dirty linen’ into the public eye again.

Railway accident

An accident at a railway crossing near Oranmore in which two people were killed is expected to renew agitation among local people who have been asking for yers that the crossing be automated. There had been two other fatal accidents at the crossing in the past seventeen years.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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