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Archive News

September 10, 2010



Date Published: {J}



An Annaghdown correspondent states that on Saturday night last, or early on Sunday morning, a “moonlighting” expedition was carried out with the utmost care, when twelve prime bullocks, the property of Mrs. Blake, of Cregg Castle, Annaghdown, were decorated all over with green paint, bearing the mottoes: “G.A.A.”, “U.I.L.”, and “Boycott”

Mrs. Blake was most popular with the people of the district until about three weeks ago when she refused Annaghdown F.C. use of a field to hold a tournament which was held there in aid of the political prisoners’ defence fund.

The Newells were recently evicted from a forge on the estate. The police of the district were very busy on Sunday and Monday, but up to the time of writing, no arrests have been made. Mrs. Blake, who gives a lot of employment to labourers all the year round, has no one to work for her at present, it is stated.

Claregalway floods

A special meeting of the Claregalway branch of the United Irish League was held to consider the steps to be taken towards acquiring permanent relief for the parties whose lands were inundated during the floods. The floods are abating slowly, but two square miles of the country still continue flooded.

Athenry Town Hall

A new project has been taken on hands for the erection of a new Town Hall, and immediately a spacious building, capable of holding 3,000 people, will be begun. The need of a suitable building is keenly felt by the theatrical and sporting people of the district, as very great expense has had to be incurred from time to time to provide accommodation for the large gatherings that come to sports and other pastimes.


City homes

Mr. M.J. Cooke, chairman, presided at the monthly meeting of the Galway Urban Council on Thursday. The borough surveyor Mr. W.N. Binns, submitted draft plans for the provision of thirty houses at Munster Lane. The price of the houses he estimated at £315 each.


Escaped mental patient

Dr Mills, resident medical superintendent at Ballinasloe Mental Hospital explained a patient was working on the farm and was under the observation of the attendants a few minutes before he was missed from the farm, and he (Dr. Mills) was satisfied that the attendants in charge were not to blame, from the statements they made concerning the escape.

Tracks of him were found up and down the country for the past few days, and the guards were most carefully searching for him, but were unable up to the present to find him.

Chairman: This is a serious thing and it is our business to inquire into it and reprimand the attendants in charge if they were responsible.

Dr Mills: It is for the committee to take any action they think fit or advisable in the matter. The seriousness of the thing is that we might have lost the man altogether.

I consider two attendants in the circumstances enough and that they were capable of looking after those patients. They were a class of patient who were quiet, and they were here for twenty-five or thirty years, and they only needed to be kept under observation.

Before he introduced bringing these patients out on the farm, he added, there were no escapes, but taking them on the farm got them to do some work and encouraged more tillage.

Chairman: Irrespective of whether two men were sufficient to look after ninety-six patients, we should have, I think, more attendants here. Our first duty should be to the patients, who should be looked after.

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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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