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Party goer’s burned toes after friend set fire to his socks



Date Published: 01-Dec-2010

A man suffered severe burns to toes on both his feet when a friend set fire to his socks with a cigarette lighter at a drink-fuelled party.

Martin McHugh (21), from Waterview, Turloughmore, pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Gerard Duggan (24), causing him harm at Corbally, Cummer, Tuam on March 26, 2009.

Judge Raymond Groarke said the “mindless act of idiocy” warranted a two-year sentence but he adjourned sentencing to February to see if McHugh was found suitable by the probation service to carry out 240 hours of community service in lieu of the prison sentence.

Judge Groarke criticised McHugh, whom he called a “common idiot” when he drank, for getting his mother to give evidence in court on his behalf.

“I don’t like to see young men hiding behind their mother’s skirts. You had your Mammy come up to the witness box and tell me about you. That does not impress me,” the judge said.

Garda Joanne Hennessy told the court the victim and the accused were friends and had been drinking together in a local pub after attending a funeral the day before the offence.

They and five other friends got takeaways of alcohol when the pub closed and went to a friend’s house where the drinking continued.

McHugh set fire to Duggan’s socks when he fell asleep in a chair during the night.

Duggan woke to find his socks smouldering. McHugh admitted setting fire to Duggan’s socks the following day when the men were again drinking together in a pub.

He told Duggan his reaction when he woke up to see his socks alight was funny. “The expression on your face was priceless”, he told him.

See full court report in 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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Archive News

Killeen to the fore in comfortable win for Tynagh/ Abbey boys



Date Published: 18-Apr-2013

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry  1-12

Craughwell 0-9

Eoghan Cormican in Loughrea

FOURTEEN-man Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry overcame all the odds and, indeed, the reigning champions to advance to a first ever County U-21 hurling final in a moderate contest at Loughrea on Sunday.

Though this semi-final affair won’t live long in the memory of those present, both sides should be commended for attempting to a play a game on a most uncooperative surface.

Put simply, the hour’s fare was a circus of calamities, a comedy of errors due to the weather and the most basic of skills such as the pick-up and solo became arduous tasks. We also had fresh airs, slipping, sliding, regular scrums, and fiercely struck pucks hardly registering 20 yards in one half and surpassing 100 in the other.

Consequently, the outcome was always going to be determined by which side better adapted to the elements and Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry’s resolute first-half showing, despite playing into the driving wind and rain, laid the foundations for a win that was every bit as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.

That said, their cause wasn’t helped by the sending off on 26 minutes of sharpshooter Shane Moloney. The full-forward, who had accounted for his side’s entire tally at the time of his dismissal, received a first yellow card for a late pull on Craughwell’s Mark Monaghan.

Subsequently, Maloney illegally challenged Mark Horan and while the Craughwell centre-back received a yellow for his troubles, Maloney was sent to the line by referee Leonard Fay.

Without doubt, it was the crucial moment of the opening half, but instead of capitalising on their numerical advantage Craughwell continued to squander chance after chance after chance on their way to 12 first-half wides – a truly shocking statistic by any standards.

Tynagh/ Abbey-Duniry, on the other hand, responded superbly to Moloney’s sending off. Instead of adopting a more cautionary approach they took the game to their opponents, none more so than Paul Killeen who hit seven points in a man-of-the-match performance.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Archive News

White flag raised for club hurlingÕs most elite championship



Date Published: 24-Apr-2013


IT may sound like blowing the Galway trumpet but, most will agree, when the small ball is launched into that air-tight vacuum at the feet of the respective midfield pairings this weekend, it will signal that the country’s most decorated and highly regarded senior hurling club championship – and all the excitement that goes with it – is firmly underway once again.

In what many believe to be the most open of county championships in years, it’s notable that three of the top five contenders – reigning champions St. Thomas’, 2010 victors Clarinbridge and three-time winners Portumna – have won All-Ireland club titles in the last five years while two of the remaining challengers, Gort and Loughrea, have claimed the County Cup in the last eight years.

There are also a number of dark horses in the chasing pack and these include 2012 semi-finalists Turloughmore, Mullagh, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry, former All-Ireland winners Sarsfields and last year’s U-21 victors Craughwell. It all adds to the intrigue of the 2013 competition and makes for interesting fare.

In the intermediate championship, 2012 finalists Ahascragh/Fohenagh have a difficult assignment against Michael Gallagher’s Ballinderreen in Loughrea on Saturday (6:30pm) while Meelick/Eyrecourt, now under the management of David Kelly, should get off to a winning start against Gort’s second string in Craughwell on Sunday (6:30pm).

Others strongly fancied to secure opening round victories in the intermediate championship are Oranmore/Maree, Rahoon/Newcastle, Killimor and Kilnadeema/Leitrim. (See fixtures for details).


Mullagh v Beagh

(Loughrea, 5pm)

Beagh manager Brendan Gantley must plan for this difficult championship opener without the services of lively sharpshooter Padraig Landers, who is serving in the Lebanon. Already, Eamonn Skehill will miss the year through injury while PJ McAllen (shoulder) and Damien Landers (ankle) look set to miss the first round tie. Rory Gantley captains the South Galway outfit.

For Mullagh’s part, full-back Alan Gaynor (ankle), wing-back Alan Whyte (hand) and Donal Reilly (thumb) are all sidelined at present through injury. Forwards Damien Monaghan and Craig Finnerty both nurse dead legs but are expected to be fit for selection.

Given the absentees on both sides – and the close nature of last year’s contest, a draw – this is a difficult one to call but with David Glennon in such sparkling form at the moment, he could and should be the match winner for Mullagh, who are managed by Kevin Coen and captained by Finian Coone. Verdict: Mullagh.

Last meeting: 2012 (Group) Beagh 1-16, Mullagh 3-10.

Match odds: Mullagh 8/13, draw 8/1, Beagh 6/4.

Kiltormer v Tynagh/


(Duggan Park,

Ballinasloe 5pm)

Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry have two major injury worries in versatile duo Michael Dervan (hand) and Paul Gordon (foot) while two of the side’s elder statesmen, goalkeeper Kevin Devine and former Galway star Kevin Broderick, have not returned to the squad as of yet due to family commitments.

However, they can call on a number of the U-21 side which has reached the upcoming county championship ‘A’ final, including custodian Mike Fahy, the classy Paul Killeen, Kevin Moloney, Padraig Breheny and Shane Moloney.

For Kiltormer manager Brian Whelehan and selectors Tony Hough and Mike Coleman, full-back Shane Staunton (groin) is a long term concern while Micheal Greaney is struggling with a calf injury. Added to this, wing-back Quentin Lynch and corner forward Enda Fenton have left for London.

However, Shane Tierney, Justin Donnelly, David Hayes, Jason Kilkenny, Conor Ryan, Keith Kilkenny and Kevin McKeigue still form a strong nucleus within the squad. Verdict: Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry.

Last meeting: 2011 (Group) Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry 0-22, Kiltormer 1-10.

Match odds: Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry 1/5, draw 10/1, Kiltormer 4/1.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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