Ref NoLA2
TitleGalway Town Commissioners, Minute Books of
DescriptionEach volume contains minutes giving the date of meetings, attendance, correspondence and business transacted. Initially the Board of The Galway Town Commissioners met on a weekly basis, during in later periods it met less frequently. Earlier volumes contain lined pages, later volumes contain indexes and pre-formatted pages. The collection also contains two volumes of drafts of minutes. The volume or volumes covering the period May 1853-September 1862 is missing, according to a list which accompanied the initial deposit it was never deposited at the library. The vast majority of the information contained in the minute books relates to the day to day provision of the services which the Board was responsible for including the collection of tolls, the watch and the maintenance of roads and footpaths. The minute books also contain references to wider social and political events such as The Great Famine and The Land War. The pages of the volumes in this collection are in good physical condition, the covers of some of the volumes are very worn.
Date1836-1899
Extent8 Volumes
ArrangementThe volumes which comprise this collection have been arranged in chronological order.
Administrative HistoryThe Galway Town Commissioners were established the under provisions The 1828 Act for the Improvement of Lighting in Towns. The Board of the Galway town Commissioners itself was established by the Galway Improvements Bill which was passed in Parliament in 1836. The Board took over all the local authority functions of Galway Corporation following the Corporation's abolition in 1840. The establishment of the Town Commissioners and the abolition of Galway Corporation represented the relegation in administrative terms of Galway to the status of a town. While arguably the 19th century was a period in which Galway was in relative decline it was also a period during which the city was 'modernized'. During the period in which The Board of the Galway Town Commissioners was in operation street lighting, running water, trams and later electricity and telephones were introduced to Galway. It was also the period during which a rail-link with the rest of the country was established, the Corrib navigation was built, The University was established and the race course at Ballybritt was laid out. The minutes contained in the bound volumes that comprise this collection reflect in large measure these improvements. The Board of the Galway Town Commissioners was directly involved in the construction and maintenance of some of these improvements, such as the water supply while it was also heavily involved in lobbying for other projects such as the railway and canal. There were a number of unsuccessful attempts to establish Galway as 'A Packet Station' for transatlantic shipping, the hope was that Galway could become 'A Liverpool for Ireland', this hope was partially based on the idea that a passengers and goods would reach London more quickly if they disembarked at Galway than traveled by rail to Dublin, caught a ferry to Wales and then traveled on to London by rail.
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