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October 21, 2010



Date Published: {J}


New band

The St. Patrick’s Fife and Drum Band Society has taken on hands the work of establishing a new brass and reed band. The esteem and popularity of the society which has taken the matter on hands will win for it a large measure of support; but apart from any other motive, the project is worthy of the support of every true Nationalist in the city.

Large numbers have already contributed generously. On to-night and to-morrow night, Mr. J. Almo will give benefit entertainments in aid of the project at the Court Theatre. The public are requested to attend in large numbers and show by their presence that they are in sympathy with the movement.

Aran rates

As a result of the quarrel with the Galway County Council about 240 voters in the Aran Islands stand disfranchised. At the adjourned Revision Court held in the Courthouse, Galway, on Saturday, Judge Anderson, K.C., held that inasmuch as the rates were not, in fact, lodged, he had no option but to strike voters off the register. This was accordingly done.

With a view to a settlement, the following resolution was passed by the Council: “That the Council having learned that all the voters have been officially objected to for non-payment of rates desire to express the hope that in view of the amicable arrangement, which has now been entered into the objections may be withdrawn.”


Rate collection

The difficulty in collecting the rates in many parts of East Galway has sometimes been revealed in the local courts, where the collectors are compelled to make claims for decrees for the outstanding amounts. In Ballinasloe court on Monday, Mr. Joseph Jennings, a collector, was given decrees in a number of cases where, in order to close his warrant, he was compelled to pay the defaulters’ rates himself and then further compelled to seek decrees against the defaulters to recover the amounts paid. The amounts of the decrees obtained in some cases were up to £22, and varied in amounts down to a couple of pounds.

A rate collector’s job at the moment is a very unenviable one. Even the local Council have been compelled to take drastic action with their rent collector. There is a large sum outstanding as rent on them cottages, which month by month show little improvement.

A A definite order to close his warrant or resign has been given the collector, whose efforts in collecting the rates are handicapped by the fact that some of the Council’s cottages have a weekly rental of 7s 6d per week, which the tenants, who are unemployed in many instances, find a difficulty in paying.

Some months ago the Council, having reviewed the whole rents’ position, struck off about £20 as “bad debts” with the hope of improving the position of the collector and reducing the outstanding arrears. Even now following the gesture of generosity by the Council, there is still a big amount of arrears outstanding.

Narrow victory

Galway had the keenest test of the season at Ballinasloe (Duggan Park) on Sunday, where they met the pick of Munster (Tipperary) in the National League Football tie. The home side were luck to win by the narrow margin of one point against the team which met Cavan in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park this year.

In a game which was contested every minute of the time from the start, the fairly good attendance present, notwithstanding a strong breeze and blinding rain, saw one of the keenest contested hours of play for many years in Ballinasloe. It finished Galway 3 goals; Tipperary, 2 goals, 2 points.

Connemara ponies

The Connemara Society has today no fewer than 300 registered Connemara mares and eighteen fully registered stallions. Mr. C.J. Kerin, who has done so much to save the famous breed, gave valuable evidence before the Irish Horse Breeding Commission on Wednesday.

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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