Date Published: 04-Jan-2012
The festering row over the new standards on septic tanks won’t be just a rural issue after all according to the man leading the campaign against it – because Fianna Fáil Deputy, Eamon Ó Cuív TD, predicted this week that the fall-out would also hit the fashionable ‘Dublin 4 set’, given that so many of them own houses in holiday areas.
He said that in many instances, the ‘D4 set’ had houses in places like Connemara and in Kerry because they had been left to them by relations – or they had the money to buy houses along the western seaboard during the glory days of the Celti Tiger.
Ó Cuív was reacting to the fact that tens of thousands of houses in predominantly rural areas may have to have their septic tanks reassessed or specially inspected under EU regulations which have existed for a number of years but have not been implemented by successive Irish governments.
The rules would mean that all septic tanks would have to be registered, inspected and passed under a series of EU Guidelines – including those which were built from houses built before planning laws were even introduced into this country.
As an angry campaign gets underway around the country about the issue, Deputy Ó Cuív said the government could not hold a crazy situation where a house built before the planning laws were even introduced might well conform with the law, and a house built after that according to all the rules and regulations at the time, might be found as not conforming.
Ó Cuív said: “This issue is political dynamite and it applies as much in Dublin 4 as in other areas, though the Government doesn’t seem to have realised this fully yet.”
He pointed out that for instance, people had been left houses which conformed with the law at the time, or they had bought houses believing them to be conforming, but if they didn’t fall within the proposed new law, people were facing bills potentially for thousands of euro to put the situation right.
The row over septic tanks which has now been running for a number of weeks in the West of Ireland, has spread to other areas, and Ó Cuív confirmed this week that he had been invited to public meetings in areas way outside the West of Ireland, where people did not traditionally associate the districts with septic tanks. In effect, this was discrimination against people living in rural areas.
They could not move into a local sewerage scheme like those living in local authority areas or towns, so they went to the additional expense of building septic tanks and now found that, though they had conformed with all the rules at the time of building, someone was now telling them that they might have to take them up and build again. That also presumed that there was enough room on the site to build a septic tank and get back inside the rules.
See full column in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.