Date Published: 14-Dec-2011
Santa Claus’s reindeers who are tired of tucking into the humble carrot on Christmas Eve as they travel the world with the man himself delivering presents to millions, are looking forward to visiting County Galway this year after the children of a local primary school invented the perfect treat for red-nosed Rudolph and Co: Magic Reindeer Food.
A spokesperson for Father Christmas and his nine reindeer confirmed to the Connacht Tribune via telephone from the North Pole this week that they are “really looking forward” to tasting Galway’s Magic Reindeer Food, which is produced and sold by the entrepreneurial children of Kilcolgan Educate Together National School.
With help from a start-up business coach, the children of the senior class – all fourth, fifth and sixth classes, aged between nine and 13 – have been learning the skills of entrepreneurship, from idea generation, marketing and selling skills to book-keeping.
The magical food is sprinkled on the lawn on Christmas Eve and the bright crystals attract the eye of Rudolph and the other reindeer, making it easier for Santa to spot where a delivery needs to be made.
The recipe for the reindeer feed is oats, bird seed, icing sugar plus a very special secret ‘magic’ ingredient that appeals only to Santa’s reindeer.
The class report that the business went into profit in less than 24 hours and expect to be busy keeping up with demand until late on Christmas Eve.
Magic Reindeer Food is available from TK Maxx, Galway, City Limits, Oranmore, Londis in Kilcolgan and other local outlets. The packets cost €2 and all proceeds from the venture will go towards the school while the children get one per cent of the sales.
See full story and pix in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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
Early tries scupper Wegians in Bateman Cup
Date Published: 24-Jan-2013
WOMAN TOLD TO LEAVE GALWAY OR FACE JAIL
Killimor wary of favourites tag for semi-final
Date Published: 30-Jan-2013