Galway In Days Gone By

The original statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire in Eyre Square in the 1980s prior to having its head removed by vandals in 1995. The repaired original is now in Galway Museum but a bronze replica is shortly to be installed at Eyre Square.
The original statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire in Eyre Square in the 1980s prior to having its head removed by vandals in 1995. The repaired original is now in Galway Museum but a bronze replica is shortly to be installed at Eyre Square.

1917

No rear lamp

At Athenry Petty Sessions, James Ward, a chauffeur in the employment of Mr. Higgins, Athenry, was charged with driving a motor car at 11 o’clock at night without having a light to illuminate the identification mark at the rear. The defendant had no explanation to offer.

Chairman Mr. Joseph Kilbride, R.M., said it was a common practice among professional chauffeurs to let the tail light out at night so that they could not be identified. The District Inspector said it was a very necessary thing from the police point of view that the rear light be illuminated. The defendant was fined £1, the conviction to be endorse on the licence.

Bull on the loose

On Wednesday evening, consternation was felt among the female and juvenile population of the city when it became known that a bull had taken fright and was touring the streets of the city in an enraged fashion.

The animal, which was being driven quietly along, suddenly ran away in a determined fashion from his escort. He raced along the principal streets of the town and turned down in the direction of the docks, where he was brought under control by a number of dock labourers and farmers.

Killed by lightning

While working at his potato crop on Saturday afternoon, Thomas Naughton, Spiddal was struck by lightning and died in a short period. His head was badly burned and his hair completely singed. He was about to leave the field when he was killed. A married man with a family, he was aged about 35 years. Another man named Concannon was working in a boreen nearby when he was knocked down by a flash of lightning. In this district the lightning flashes were very vivid, and were of a bluish colour.

1942

Invisible planes warning

A few days ago an aeroplane flew over Galway. It was a clear day of sunshine, but, although thousands of people heard the plane, not one saw it – the machine was flying to high to be visible.

Possible the plane was one of our own, but, whatever its identity, the incident served to illustrate the vulnerability of this city to attack from the air. Military observers incline to the belief that the next few months will see the peak struggle of the war in Europe and this country’s danger will be greater than ever before.

In the circumstances, it behoves us to leave nothing undone that we can do to mitigate the peril of Galway. Our L.D.F. Battalion is a credit to the city – although we should have had enough volunteers for two battalions –

But it must be remembered that this is a purely combatant force and that there is a great deal of work for the safeguarding of the citizens and the protection of their property must be entrusted to other organisations.

Possibly it is because there is a good deal of misunderstanding among the general public as to its function that the L.S.F. has not been able to recruit one-fifth of the men necessary for the efficient working of the organisation. We feel sure that if the people understood the very valuable work which it has undertaken on their behalf, the necessary number would be forthcoming very quickly.

It is NOT a perfectly safe job. Should the city be attacked, the members of the L.S.F. will be exposed to far greater risks than the other non-combatants since the nature of their duties precludes them from taking shelter in the ordinary way. Whatever their own risks, however, it is their job to do everything in their power to minimise the casualties among the civilian population.

The danger is at our gates and drawing nearer with every day that passes. The L.S.F. wants those recruits NOW – today, not tomorrow!

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.