Date Published: 17-Dec-2009
Hard pressed publicans are finding it difficult to get the necessary credit from the banks to order their Christmas stock of alcohol.
And as it stands now, owners of some of the county’s smaller pubs are only in a position to order on a week to week basis.
When pubs were booming, the Christmas stock was ordered the first week in December and they would even order enough to see them through January and February. It was also an era when part payment for the stock could be made in January with the remainder of the bill being settled up the following month.
But now both the suppliers and the banks have become more cautious as many pubs are going through an extremely lean period. When they used to have possibly two weeks of solid trade over the Christmas and New Year period, this has now been reduced to a handful of days.
And former Vintners President, Paul O’Grady said that the month of November was one of the most bleak in the pub trade that he had ever come across.
“And it looks like January and February will be starvation months for the pub trade. The reduction in public sector pay along with the cuts in social welfare have to impact severely.
“There is no doubt that leases of pubs will be handed back and there will be no one around to take over the reins when this happens. Pub closures will be the rule rather than the exception”, he said.
Mr. O’Grady said that even the reduction in the excise duty was “too little, too late” as far as the pubs were concerned.
Meanwhile, a large percentage of publicans have already implemented the decrease – although many have refused and say that they will not be doing so until their current stock has been sold.
Those who have implemented the decrease following the reduction in excise duty have reduced the price of the pint by around 15 to 20 cent. Many publicans implemented it on the night of the Budget but there are many who are holding firm and will not pass on the decrease in the price of the pint until the New Year.
President of the Vintners Federation of Ireland,Val Hanley said that most publicans in Galway city were taking 15 cent off the price of beer, cider, lagers and spirits. He advocated that all pubs follow suit. However, some pubs in rural parts of Galway have not implemented the price cut and told their customers that they would not be doing so until after Christmas.
The average price of the pint of stout and beer in most rural pubs was €3.90 and this has now been reduced to €3.75 . . . but it pays to shop around as some publicans have the pint even cheaper than this.
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.