Galway In Days Gone By

Some things never change: weather conditions appear to have dampened the spirits at the Shanaglish sports in September 1967.
Some things never change: weather conditions appear to have dampened the spirits at the Shanaglish sports in September 1967.

1917

Decrease in serious crime

Speaking from the official document furnished to him by those in command of the police, “who, of all others, have the best and most accurate means of knowledge”, Mr. Justice Kenny, at the Galway Assizes, admitted that there was a net decrease in serious cases of fourteen. Further, boycotting had decreased to some extent, and the number of persons receiving police protection was also less than last year. These figures, which, according to the Judge of Assize, represent “the actual offences of a serious character dealt with by the police”, would seem to indicate that there had been a very encouraging decrease in serious crime in County Galway, and that the activities of those responsible for the peace and good of the community would have been lessened to a corresponding extent.

Nevertheless, we find his Lordship arriving at a conclusion which is quite the opposite. “Considered by themselves”, he said, “although some of these crimes are of a very serious nature, they do not, to my mind, indicate anything in the nature of concerted or organised lawlessness.”

Victimisation of a lady

We have received a long letter from a lady who was recently employed in one of the leading City establishments, who declares that owing to her political opinions, and because she has “a brother and two nephews fighting for our homes and liberties in France”, she was subjected to persecution at the hands of “a pettiest brigade of Sinn Féin shopboys”. In consequence, she was compelled to leave her employment and thus she states “that these stalwarts are to be congratulated on their victory over a defenceless girl”.

1942

Hackney car ban

When some ten thousand visitors from Belfast decided to spend a few days in the Irish capital recently, the Dubliners grumbled that they found it difficult enough to get food for themselves without having to feed an invading horde, large numbers of whom went around flaunting colours and slogans that Liffeyside dwellers thought should not be so vauntingly displayed in a neutral country.

We, in Galway, are in a different case. We are anxious that everything should be done to attract thousands of visitors to the city during Race Week. Unfortunately, war-time difficulties may compel the Government to take steps which will very seriously reduce the number of Race Week visitors. If the ban on motor hackney cars bringing people to the meeting is rigidly enforced, it will mean that many thousands from the surrounding counties will have to miss Galway Races for the first time on record. It will mean also a very severe financial loss to Galway and its citizens.

Galway Races are considerably more than an ordinary sporting fixture. To a very great extend the prosperity of the city depends upon the success of this great annual festival. Its success may mean even the difference between poverty and well-being for large numbers of the citizens. For this reason alone, therefore, we trust that it will be found possible to defer the strict enforcement of the ban in the country until, say, August 1st.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.