GALWAY BARONIES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The county is partly in the diocese of Killaloe, and partly in those of Elphin, Kilmacduagh, and Clonfert, but chiefly in the archdiocese of Tuam, and contains the episcopal cities of each of the three last-named dioceses within its limits. For purposes of civil jurisdiction it is divided into the baronies of Arran, Athenry, Half Ballymoe, Ballynahinch, Clare, Clonmacnoon, Dunkellin, Dunmore, Kilconnell, Killian, Kiltartan, Leitrim, Longford, Loughrea, Moycullen, Ross, and Tyaquin. It contains, independently of the provincial capital, which forms a separate county, the corporate and market-towns of Tuam and Athenry; the market and post-towns of Loughrea, Eyrecourt, Gort, and Headford; the greater part of the market-town of Ballinasloe; the sea-port and post town of Clifden; and the post-towns of Ahascragh, Aughrim, Castleblakeney, Dunmore, Portumna, Oranmore, Craughwell, Oughterard, Kilconnell, Monivae, and Dangan. The largest among its numerous villages are Mount Bellew, Woodford, Kinvarra, and Mount-Shannon.

Prior to the Union, it sent six representatives to the Irish parliament, two for the county at large, and two for each of the boroughs of Tuam and Athenry; since that period, its sole representatives, exclusive of those of the town of Galway, have been the two sent by the county to the Imperial Parliament; the members are elected at Galway. The constituency, in January 1836, was, freeholders, 364 of £50, 224 of £20, and 3053 of £10; clergymen, registering out of their respective incumbencies, 24 of £50, 5 of £20, and 3 of £10; rent-chargers, 5 of £50, and 9 of £20; making a total of 3687 registered electors. The county is included in the Connaught circuit: the assizes are held at Galway, and general sessions of the peace are held twice in the year at each of the towns of Loughrea, Tuam, Eyrecourt, and Gort. The county court-house and gaol are in Galway; and there are bridewells at Clifden, Eyrecourt, Loughrea, Tuam, Woodford, Ballinasloe, and Gort. The number of persons charged with criminal offences and committed, in 1835, was 651.

The local government is vested in a lord-lieutenant, 21 deputy-lieutenants, and 157 magistrates, besides whom there are the usual county officers, including four coroners. There are 99 constabulary police stations, in which are a force consisting of 12 chief constables, 122 constables, 540 sub-constables, and 15 horses: the expense of its maintenance is defrayed partly by the county and partly by the government. There is also a peace preservation police of one magistrate, one chief constable, 13 constables, 42 sub-constables, and 4 horses.

The county infirmary and fever hospital is at Galway, and there is a fever hospital at Ballinasloe, where also is the district lunatic asylum for Connaught; and there are dispensaries at Claran Bridge, Dunmore, Ballymoe, Portumna, Tuam, Loughrea, Ballinasloe, Kiltulla, Headford, Ahascragh, Clifden, Ballygar, Miltown, Killane, Monivea, Glanmodda, Oughterard, Gort, Killyan, and Eyrecourt, maintained by private subscriptions and Grand Jury presentments. The total amount of the Grand Jury presentments, for the year 1835, was £43,938. 8. 7 ¼., of which £1443. 0. 65. was for the public roads and bridges of the county at large; £11,197. 3. 1 ¼. for the public roads, being the baronial charge; £12,905. 7. 9. for public establishments, officers' salaries, buildings, &c., and £14,022. 7. 5 ½. for the police.

In the military arrangements the county is included in the western district, except Mount-Shannon, which is in the southwestern; and contains six barrack stations, three for cavalry at Loughrea, Gort, and Dunmore, two for infantry at Ballinasloe and Oughterard, and one for artillery at Mount-Shannon, affording in the whole accommodation for 21 officers and 415 men.

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