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Smile please, but remember you must take off your socks!



Date Published: {J}

It’s all very funny indeed, provided you’re not one of the ones being recorded – so spare a thought for the clients at the centre of that recent story about the booming brothel where the customers were being recorded by secret cameras.

Today’s almost infinite possibilities for publication of those recordings must have caused many a sleepless night among the clients of a business that was turning over the kind of money that shows some industry is simply immune to the recession.

It seems to have always been so for the oldest profession in the world. For there is a recorded story from many years ago in Galway where a lady who was reputedly making a decent living was reported to have said, when asked how was business . . . “I’m so busy that, if I had a second pair of legs I could open a branch in Tuam.”

One of the other figures in the recent stories relating to brothels being raided, must have given pause to many a legitimate business in the area of advertising. One web site selling certain services was alleged to have a turnover of €110,000 per month in advertising and was of particular interest to the Revenue.

This site was allegedly being run from the UK. History does not recall whether the ads carried lines like “Sale Sale Sale” but the thought of a website earning tens of thousands for a mere knowledge of how to put up ads on a website and keep them up to date, makes me sorry I dropped out of that computer course for senior citizens being run by FAS.

Think of the industry I could run from my bedroom . . . and please don’t assume for one minute that I am thinking of running anything other than an advertising web page, though it appears that I might have to base it in England to get away with it, the advertising of some such services apparently being illegal in this country.

When I recall all the years we slaved in the newspaper industry, putting together an attractive package of news, sport and advertising at enormous expense, while all the time there was a formula out there capable of turning over a million a year, with no outlay (oops!), few overheads, and guaranteed profits at the end of each month.

I just don’t seem to have the necessary spirit of the entrepreneur – dammit, the property boom passed me by as well.

This business of running a website advertising certain services beats picking up ads for bales of hay, grazing for letting, and secondhand cars. Even in the boom times for property advertising, to think that there was a fortune to be picked up, with just some skills on a laptop (stop it! Ed.), though maybe it might be handy to have a Kalashnikov handy in case someone came calling looking to buy-into the business!

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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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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