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NRA chief’s strong signal that Gort to Tuam motorway is still on track

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 22-Oct-2009

There were further indications earlier this week that the Gort to Tuam motorway will proceed towards the latter end of next year – currently discussions are taking place with four interested consortia.
In fact it was one of the roads referred to by Peter Malone, the Chairman of the National Roads Authority, when opening the Waterford bypass on Tuesday.
He indicated in an interview afterwards that the Gort to Tuam route, which is being built on a public private partnership arrangement, was a priority with the National Roads Authority.
Expressions of interest were sought for the construction of the N17/N18 motorway and these were eventually shortlisted to four.
Currently discussions are taking place between the NRA and the four consortia and following this lengthy process, a successful contractor will be appointed.
Tony Collins of the National Roads Authority in Galway said that a contractor would be appointed by October next year after which construction of the 57 kilometres of motorway would commence.
“The NRA have been very supportive of this project and I am confident that work will commence before the end of next year”, he said and added that the project would also include the Tuam bypass.
Mr. Collins said that the tendering process was currently under way and that the successful contractor would be appointed based on both a technical and financial perspective.
It is estimated that the Gort to Tuam project, including the Tuam bypass, will cost in the region of €500 million and is expected to commence once the Gort to Crusheen section of the N18 is completed around the middle of next year.
The new road will intersect the new M6 Galway to Ballinasloe motorway at Rathmorrissey near Athenry where a major junction will be constructed.
Continued from page 1
Tony Collins explained that it would cost between €4 million and €5 million per kilometre of motorway and was confident that the diggers would be moving into the site before the end of 2010.
At the moment an archeological survey is being carried out on the route as compulsory purchase orders for the acquisition of the land have already been approved by An Bord Pleanala.
Earlier this week Galway County Council gave their approval for the Tuam bypass to be part of the PPP process which means that the motorway will join the existing N17 north of Tuam on the main Sligo road.
Businesses in an industrial park in Tuam, which will be adjacent to the new bypass, have been given an assurance that they will get an access onto the route despite this not having been previously included in the plan.

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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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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