Date Published: 28-Aug-2007
A city auctioneers company, O’Dolan and Partners, has joined The Making Galway Proud Initiative’s 2007 campaign to shorten the disgraceful four and a half year waiting list for Speech and Occupational Therapy in Galway.
Voices For Galway which consists of parents of Down Syndrome children who need this much needed therapy were angered to hear that over 100 Speech and Occupational Therapists have qualified from college but cannot work because of the government’s failure to fund new posts for them.
These graduates are the first to finish a three year third level course, which was set up to address the unbelievable shortage of Speech and Language Therapists in the health service.
James Harris of The Making Galway Proud Initiative which has chosen this area for their 2007 campaign said: “It is so unfair on the children and parents that need this therapy, even though there are people who can help this dire situation, a large group of children and adults have to suffer because of the lack of funding. This situation could be sorted straight away, why is it always the same story?”
This Saturday will see a large group of people from Galway walk from Galway Docks to Blackrock in Caríosa’s Walk. Caríosa Williams is a four month little girl who was not only born with Down Syndrome but with severe heart problems. This little girl has become the inspiration to the entire 2007 Making Galway Proud campaign for Voices For Galway.
There are still places left and information on the day can be obtained from O’Dolan and Partner’s Auctioneers on 091 865000.
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
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