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Ó Cúiv most vocal in Dáil – but silence is golden for Grealish

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Date Published: 23-May-2012

Deputy Éamon Ó Cúiv may have dominated column inches in the media in recent weeks but the Galway West TD has also made over twice as many contributions to Dáil debates as any other Galway TDs, according to new figures.

The new figures reveal the number of contributions made by Galway TDs in Dáil debates up until May 9 and show which TDs were the most active contributors. Although the contribution records cannot be said to reflect a TD’s overall performance, they do show that some of Galway’s TDs are much more vocal in the Dáil than their constituency counterparts.

While the figures record how many contributions individual TDs have made, they don’t necessarily show the inherent value of their input. Obviously, there is no direct correlation between the quantity of the contributions and the quality thereof, but the figures do show a marked difference in approach from the county’s different representatives.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cúiv clocked up 184 contributions, making 131% more contributions than the average TD and he made more than twice as many contributions as Deputy Colm Keaveney, the next highest contributor from Co Galway with 88 contributions.

One reason for Deputy Ó Cúiv’s high number of contributions was that his former position as Deputy Leader of Fianna Fail resulted in his involvement in Leaders’ Questions debates.

At the other end of the spectrum was Galway West TD, Deputy Noel Grealish. The independent deputy made just seven contributions over the same period, which corresponded to a somewhat underwhelming 9% of the average contributions per TD.

The Government TDs from Galway West recorded more contributions than Deputy Grealish but came nowhere close to emulating Deputy Ó Cúiv’s figure. Fine Gael’s Deputy Sean Kyne made 23 contributions to come out just ahead of party colleague Deputy Brian Walsh’s 19 contributions. Labour’s Deputy Derek Nolan made just 16 contributions in total.

Labour Deputy Colm Keaveney led the way for the Galway East constituency, making 88 contributions to leave him 10% more vocal than the average TD. He was closely followed by Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, Ciaran Cannon, who made 74 contributions. The latter’s Fine Gael party colleague Deputy Paul Connaughton made 30 contributions.

Leas Cheann Chomhairle Michael Kitt made 593 contributions in his official capacity.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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