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October 18, 2012



Date Published: 17-Oct-2012


Portumna races

At the Dublin City Sessions, before the Recorder, the Great Southern and Western Railway Company were sued by Messrs. Black and Callaghan, to recover damages for breach of contract with respect to the carriage of three racehorses from Geashill to Clara on Whit Monday en route for Portumna races. It appears the three horses ran on that date at Geashill meeting, and were entered to run the following day at Portumna, but were unable to fulfil the latter engagement as the defendant company refused to convey them back that evening to Clara owing to heavy traffic.

Evidence was given for the complainants that they offered to pay the full amount demanded for the conveyance back of the horses.

For the defence, the station master at Geashill (Mr. Kennelick) stated that he received a telegram from the manager directing him not to take any animals back that evening, and that the train had reached the platform when the offer had been made on behalf of the plaintiffs.


It was stated that there was reasonable expectations that the horses which were called ‘Skirt’, ‘Simple Paddy’ and ‘Escape’, would win at Portumna.

The Recorder held that there was a breach of contract, and have a decree for 1s. damages and 6s witness’s expenses, pointing out that there was no evidence of any actual loss by the plaintiffs.


School delay

The delay in the erection of the new school at Portumna was the subject of a complaint at the monthly meeting of the County Galway Vocational Education Committee. The chief executive officer and secretary (Sean Ó Dochartaigh) said that some time ago, the Committee accepted the tender of Messrs. Geraghty Brothers of Moylough, to erect a vocational school at Portumna for £4,300 odd, but the Department of Education refused to sanction the expenditure of such a large sum of money on one school, and requested that the bills of quantities be cut down.

Youngest bishop

Most Rev. Dr. Michael F. Browne, who was consecrated Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora on Sunday, is the youngest Bishop of the youngest See in Ireland, which extends into two ecclesiastical provinces and three counties.

This distinguished Maynooth Professor and brilliant Westport man will have jurisdiction over portion of his native county – viz., the detached parish of Shrule (Mayo), which was originally in the diocese of Annaghdown, the greater part of which is now merged in the Archdiocese of Tuam).

There was a very large crowd gathered in and around the County Buildings, Galway, when Most Rev. Dr. Browne arrived at 1.30 o’clock to receive addresses of welcome and loyalty from public bodies, teaching bodies, the clergy of the united dioceses, and the Galway branch of the Gaelic League.

When His Lordship arrived he was greeted by a great outburst of cheering, and His Lordship, as he passed through a guard of honour of Girl Guides, acknowledged the ovation by imparting his blessing.

Battle with pike

Whilst on holiday at Flood’s Hotel, Pettigo, Mr. and Miss Gahan, of Dublin, had an exciting finish to a day’s fishing on Lough Derg. Having captured twenty trout, Miss Gahan was reeling in another fish when she experienced a tug which emptied the entire line off her reel. Then began a thrilling battle between the angler and an unseen challenger.

After thirty-five minutes an enormous pike broke the waters at the line’s end. On being gaffed by the boatman and hauled into the boat, the circumstances of its capture revealed itself, for protruding from the pike’s moth was the tail of a 1 lb trout. On being weighed, the pike turned the scales at 18 lbs.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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.

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