120th Anniversary of Galway County Council’s Inaugural Meeting
2019 marks the 120th anniversary of the first representative local elections, which were held in April 1899. The passing into law of the Local Government Act, 1898 established the County Councils and reformed Corporations (City Councils). It gave many people in Ireland the right to vote for the first time, including women. This right gave people a say in local government which meant that they were able to influence the development of their communities and their country.
This mini exhibition focuses on Galway County Council’s 1st meeting, held on 22 April 1899.
Sowing a Seed: Archives to Art
To celebrate both our archives and creatives Galway County Council Archives invited local artists to collaborate with it to promote a sense of cultural identity and celebrate creativity, and to promote our archival collections.
Details of the items chosen by the Archivist to pique interest in the archives and excite the participants are illustrated in the attached video.
The Artists - Joan Finnegan, Kathleen Furey, Selma Makela, Lisa-Maire Manthey, Gala Tomasso and Carmel Tynan - were asked to explore, interrogate and visually reinterpret the items and invited to use them for creative inspiration. They were challenged with bringing the specific archives ‘alive’, and to bridge a gap between the past and present in a contemporary innovative artistic manner, and to create a narrative connecting the piece, person or place identified in the archive to their new artwork.
An exhibition of the artists’ work was launched in Tuam Library on 19th October 2019, with an accompanying catalogue.
Galway County Council Archives initiative funded under the Creative Ireland /Galway County Council Cultural and Creativity Strategy, 2018-2022
Our video documentation of the project captures the essence of Sowing a Seed: Archives to Art. It includes images of the featured archival material, together with insights from the artists on the project and their individual artistic approach and process.
This mini exhibition forms part of the Explore Your Archive campaign, which runs from 18th to 26th November, 2017.
The Explore Your Archive campaign encourages people to discover the stories, the facts, the places and the people that are at the heart of our communities. Archives across Ireland are taking part to raise awareness of the value of archives to society and of the rich variety of content that is held, preserved and made available to users.
Galway County Council Archives has curated and produced a travelling exhibition, From Colonial State to Free State, what they said… Drawn almost exclusively from Galway County Council and Rural District Council minutes, the exhibition illustrates the attitudes and mores of the county of Galway’s local authorities between 1899 and 1923, focusing on the pivotal period after the 1916 Rising. The content and tone of the minutes reveal the political and social mind-set at that time. It is hoped that this perspective on that tumultuous period in Ireland’s past will be informative and a helpful resource to those interested in learning how county Galway and its people viewed and reacted to events as they unfolded.
From Colonial State to Free State, what they said...
From the Archives 1916: Revolution and Recollection
As part of the County of Galway 1916 centenary programme of events Galway County Council Archives presents a small selection of material from it holdings, which relate in some way to the events or people involved in the 1916 Easter Rising. The items depicted in the display are just a sample of the varied and wonderful collections in the Archives.
VOLUNTEERS IN GALWAY CITY IN 1914
Irish Volunteers, Galway Corps, May to October 1914
GLEANINGS FROM THE ARCHIVES
In 2012 Galway County Council Archives put together several exhibition panels with items of archival interest relating to Galway County Council. The intention is to highlight the importance and value of the Council’s archival collection and also to serve as a tribute to the work and achievements of our predecessors: to give just a glimpse of and to celebrate the organisation’s history.
The illustrated documents hint at the variety of material held in the Archives. They document the changes in political attitudes in the first 20 years or so following the Council’s establishment, which was an important, exciting and troubled time for the county and country. In general the panels are dedicated to the traditional services of any local authority; housing, water and sewerage services, and infrastructure, such as piers and bridges. But there are also panels dedicated to the site of the Galway County Council's headquarters at Prospect Hill, Galway, to Galway Gaol with a letter from Bishop Browne regarding the acquisition of the site for a new cathedral, and to the Council's first Chairman, Col. Nolan, who served as Chairman from 1899 to 1901.
The bi-lingual panels only illuminate a tiny proportion of the diverse work, functions and responsibility of Galway County Council. Nonetheless, it is hoped that the display will achieve its aim in highlighting the existence, value, and research potential of the archives.
Display Panels 1-4 featuring Galway County Council's inaugural meeting in April 1899 and changing political attitudes up to the early 1940s.
Display Panels 5-10 featuring the County Infirmary (1812), Áras an Chontae, Galway Town Gaol, infrastructure and the provision of housing.
Display Panels 11-15 featuring the provision of housing, water and sewerage services, and also the Council's first County Librarian Mr Samuel Maguire, and its first Chairman, Col. John P. Nolan.Mr Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government launchesGleanings from the Archives exhibition, together with, from left to right, Cllr Michael Maher, Mayor of Galway County, Patria McWalter, Archivist, Galway County Council Archives, Minister Hogan, and Cllr Jimmy Curley, Mayor of Loughrea, at Loughrea Branch Library on 1st June 2012.