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Wedding broker helps couples find best deals for their big day



Date Published: 16-Sep-2010

People have been tying the knot one way or another for as long as there’s been human life on earth, so, no doubt, something like a recession is hardly going to put an end to this age-old tradition.

However, what the recession has done is made couples more frugal and forced them to search for the best deal they can get without compromising on what should be the best day of their lives.

In reality, the only thing a couple need to do to get married, whether in church or in a registry office is acquire freedom papers and go through the actual ceremony. But, of course, most couples want to share this life commitment with their family and friends and this can add up to hundreds of people and, therefore, much expense.

In response to the current economic climate and following on from his own wedding experience, one Galway man has set up Ireland’s first wedding brokerage.

Alan Fahy, a Galway city native now living in Monivea, is a wedding broker which means he will do the leg work to find the best deals for couples planning their big day.

Most men find it hard to go through planning their own wedding let alone make it a full-time profession. Inevitably, it’s the women in most couples who do all the leg work, with the men taking a back seat and only vetoing certain decisions.

But now that there’s less money around following job losses, wage cuts and less money all round, Alan had noticed that the emphasis was suddenly on value for money and getting the best deal possible.

So, after becoming unemployed from an advertising sales job last year, he put his thinking cap on and, after discussing it with his wife, Josephine, decided to go into the wedding business.

Initially, Alan had envisaged a web site only which would incorporate all the services required by anyone getting married from the hotels to honeymoons.

That’s how was born but Alan noticed that as well as a willingness by people to be included on the web site, that many engaged couples were actually contacting him directly wanting advice.

“It made perfect sense then for me to expand my initial concept and respond to public demand.

“I have to stress that I am not a wedding planner – the only experience I have of that is my own three years ago, though I have to admit Josephine did most of it – but I am now the country’s first and only wedding broker.

“Basically, what that means is that couples contact me, they tell me the services they require and I negotiate the best deal for them.”

The web site can also be used by couples who are organised and independent and who feel they have the time and the negotiating skills to broker their own deals on hotel prices, gowns, wedding cars, wedding bands etc. The web site gives them the added bonus of offering discount vouchers for many of the services listed.

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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