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Race success to drive plans forward for massive Û125m redevelopment of port



Date Published: 06-Jul-2012


The huge success of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) grand finale this week is set to galvanise industry leaders to press ahead in support of plans for a €125 million-plus redevelopment of Galway Harbour which would have the potential to radically transform the marine sector in the city.

Galway Harbour Company are set to submit plans to An Bord Pleanala (ABP) next month which would double the size of the port, with the first phase alone – moving the Docks further out to sea – set to cost more than €50 million.

The marine tourism and industry sectors are seen as having massive growth potential for Galway in the coming years, with organisations such as the Marine Institute, NUI Galway, and the Harbour Company already working together on a regular basis to boost innovation and technological development.

Plans for the transformation of the harbour have been scaled back significantly over the past five years, but the proposals set to be put before ABP next month would literally transform the way in which the city does business at sea and allow Galway to compete with other port cities.

During a visit to the Sustainability Summit at the VOR Global Village yesterday, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny is understood to have recognised the importance of the port redevelopment to the future growth of the city during informal talks with local marine industry leaders.

He described the port as a “number one priority” for infrastructural development in the West of Ireland during a tour of the Race Village.

Redevelopment of the port is seen as vital to the long-term economic growth of the city, at a time when there is an increasing emphasis on green energy, the marine environment, and sustainability.

The true potential of the sector was evident in the full bays at Galway Harbour this week, as pleasure craft from all over the world congregated in the city for the conclusion of the 39,000 mile round the world race.

The Taoiseach praised Galway for winning out over 81 other cities to host the grand finale of the VOR and said the experience of everyone who attended over the past few days had confirmed why the city had won.

“The Volvo Ocean Race is a great boost for tourism in Ireland, giving us the kind of audience and publicity that no marketing budget could ever buy. Galway went global this week. Billions of people all over the world got to see exactly what the city has to offer,” he said.

Mr Kenny told the audience at the Global Arena that the sea was increasingly being seen as a source of prosperity and energy, and the Volvo sailors could tell them all about the power of wind, wave, and tidal energy out in the vast Atlantic Ocean.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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