Galway In Days Gone By

Mark, Gabriel and Frank Donnellan, Ballinasloe, display their prize exhibits at the Ballinasloe Fair in October 1975.
Mark, Gabriel and Frank Donnellan, Ballinasloe, display their prize exhibits at the Ballinasloe Fair in October 1975.

1917

Docks development

A correspondent this week strongly criticises the public men of Galway for their want of activity in regard to the development of the Harbour and Docks. It is not possible at this time, owing to war exigencies, to state the lines which such developments might follow. The conditions of any immediate development of the harbour have materially altered since the Board of Trade acceded to the request of the Harbour Board in 1914 and granted a loan of £60,000 for the deepening and widening of the channel entrance to the Docks.

Had this scheme been carried out, it would have allowed vessels of larger draft and greater carrying capacity to have entered the Docks without being dependent on the state of the tide. In other words, it would have rendered Galway harbour capable of accommodating itself to all normal goods traffic, and it would undoubtedly have the result of bringing a number of steamship companies to the western port.

Under the altered conditions brought about by the war, the estimate of €60,000 could no longer be deemed sufficient to carry out the scheme; and even if the money was placed at the disposal of the Harbour Board tomorrow, it is obvious that without the permission and authority – and, indeed, without the active assistance – of the Government, they could not succeed in carrying out the work.

1942

Countrywide blackout

It was officially announced on Wednesday night that an Order had been made by the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence Measures containing provisions for a “blackout” of lighting throughout the country in the event of an emergency. It is stated that the Minister does not, in present circumstances, propose to bring the provisions of the Order into continuous operation.

There will, however, be early tests at intervals, for short periods, to ensure that effective preparations are being made by the public. Compliance with these tests will be compulsory and penalties may be imposed for any breach during a test.

Cyclists – front lamps must have the upper half of the front glass and the whole of any side or rear panels completely obscured, and the lower half of the reflector painted black or otherwise rendered ineffective. A red rear lamp and a white surface on the rear of the bicycle will be compulsory.

Pedestrians – torches will not be allowed unless the light is dimmed by two sheets of tissue paper, or their equivalent, and is at all times directed down and extinguished immediately on receipt of an air raid warning.

Horse-drawn vehicles – same provisions as for the front lamp on a bicycle.

Drovers – in the case of animals led or driven off a road, a lamp showing a white light must be carried in front. If the number of animals exceeds four, a lamp showing a white light must be carried both in front of and behind the animals. The lamps should be so screened that no light is thrown upwards and no appreciable illumination thrown on the ground.

Householders will be required to make arrangements so that no interior light will be visible from outside during darkness. Exterior lights such as porch lights will not be allowed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.