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October 6, 2011



Date Published: {J}


Shooting outrage

A shooting outrage in connection with the boycott of a man named John Burke, of Currandrum, is reported here. On last night it would appear that a Mrs. Moran, of Anbally, the wife of a workman of Burke’s, was fired at by some person unknown.

It is stated that at about 7.30pm, Mrs Moran heard a knock at the door, and on going to see who was there, could see nobody. She then went a little distance out on the roadway leading to the house, and as she was returning, shots were fired from between two stacks in the haggard, some of the grains lodging in her arm and head.

The woman is not at present in a critical condition. It will be remembered that in connection with the boycott of Burke, a police transport car from Tuam was fired at some time ago. Burke and his workmen for some time have been under police protection, but, owing to the railway strike, the usual protection on this night was not available.

Racecourse row

It looks as if the public may have to pay dearly for the melee between the police and people on the last day of Ballybrit Races. At the Galway Rural District Council meeting on Saturday, Mr. Michael McNeill, J.P., Co.C. (Chairman), presiding, notice was received from two of the policemen who were injured during the row of their intentions to apply for heavy compensation at the coming Quarter Sessions.

John Connell, a peace officer, was maimed at Ballybrit, in the County District of Galway, is seeking £1,000 as compensation. Constable Lavin, who was with Head-Constable Connell, is claiming the amount of £700.

Strike ends

On Thursday morning, it was announced that the railway strike had come to an end. On Wednesday, a train ran into Tuam at 3.30pm – the first for a fortnight. A very large crowd was present at the station, and manifested their delight at the settlement of the dispute.

Immediately on the arrival of the train, two soldiers, who travelled in the next compartment to the engine, stationed themselves beside the engine with fixed bayonets, but their services were happily unnecessary.


Criminal gang

Addressing three boys who stood before him at Galway Circuit Court on Tuesday on housebreaking charges, his lordship, Judge Wyse Power, said: “I believe you three form the nucleus of a criminal gang that has got to be broken up, and broken up here and now today. I do not believe poverty is the cause of your downfall. There are hundreds of young boys of your age and station in Galway who are able to enjoy life and still remain honest.

The boys were charged with a whole series of burglaries across Galway. Mr. J.C. Conroy, B.L., said the three accused were first cousins and sons of respectable working people. The families held very respectable names in the city, and there was nothing against them. Whether the boys were influenced by the pictures or not, he could not say. The materials taken by the boys had been returned.

His lordship: What you mean is that the guards found it on them.

Mr. Gavin, on behalf of the 17 year-old boy, said boys of that age were more or less susceptible to what they saw in the pictures. He had been more or less induced to commit these offences. By reason of the extreme poverty in which some people live, and their extreme poverty, they had not the chance of ordinary people.

His lordship ordered that two of the defendants be detained at Clonmel Borstal Institution for three years. The oldest of the gang should feel some shame. He had been concerned in an attempt to rob a safe that it was a serious offence. His lordship sentenced him to six calendar months’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Foreign games

Galway County Council at their special meeting on Saturday, had a long discussion on the playing of Irish and foreign games in western schools and college. It was asked could the Council send scholarship holders to colleges in which foreign games were played.

The secretary said that none of the schools in which foreign games were played was on the list of schools approved for scholarship holders. It was not definitely stated that a scholarship holder could not go to a school in which foreign games were played because the Minister could not allow them to make that condition.

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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