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Significant fall in the rate of serious crime in Galway



Date Published: 07-Jan-2013


THERE has been a significant reduction in the rate of serious crimes such as murder, rape and sexual assaults in the Galway Garda area for the first nine months of 2012, as compared to the same period the previous year.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office there were no recorded offences of murder of manslaughter in the first nine months of last year while rapes and sexual assaults were down by 21%.

However, there was a notable increase in the number of murder threats made to people in the first nine months of 2012, up 140% from five to 12, as compared to the previous year.

Harassment and related offences were down by 16% – 88 to 74 – while ‘assaults causing harm’ reduced from 161 to 110, or 32%.

Galway motorists were also a better behaved lot in the first nine months of last year with a 16% reduction in drink driving offences – down from 354 in the January to September period of 2011, to 296 for the corresponding period last year.

The biggest number of offences that Gardaí had to deal with in the first nine months of the year fell into the public order and disorderly conduct categories – a massive total of 3,748, many of them in the city area. This was a decrease of 3% from the previous year.

Burglary and related offences were up slightly (2%) in 2012, but this does not include the last three months of the year when there is a traditional seasonal rise in such offences.

Aggravated burglaries – where the owner of the burgled property is assaulted or traumatised – were up 11% last year while thefts from the person increased significantly (61%) from 54 to 87.

A total of 535 shopowners in the Galway Garda area reported thefts in the first nine months of 2012, while overall ‘theft and related offences’ came to the attention of the Gardaí on 1834 occasions, a 5% increase on the previous year.

In the first three quarters of 2012, there were 13 recorded offences where adults were charged with ‘the abandoning of a child, the neglect of a child or cruelty’, a 30% increase on the previous year.

Robbery, extortion and hijacking crimes almost halved last year – down from 37 to 20 – while there were only three robberies of ‘establishments or institutions’.

Chairman of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Padraig Conneely, said that while overall the reduction in the crime figures were to be welcomed, he had serious concerns over the spate of house burglaries in the city over the winter months and not included in the latest statistics.

Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel


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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