Galway In Days Gone By

Boys who were Confirmed by the Bishop of Galway, Dr Michael Browne, in Kinvara in 1969.
Boys who were Confirmed by the Bishop of Galway, Dr Michael Browne, in Kinvara in 1969.

1918

Shooting

Another shooting outrage occurred on Sunday night at Kilroe, Drumgriffin, near the residence of Mr. J.G. Alcorn, J.P. On the night, after ten o’clock, William Burke, steward in Mr. Alcorn’s employment, was returning from his brother’s house in Kilcoona, and when about five hundred yards from Kilroe House, three gunshots were fired, inflicting two serious wounds on Burke’s right leg.

He shouted “Murder!”, “Help!” when the shots hit him. The shots were heard a mile away by a police patrol.

The shooting took place in a portion of the road which is thickly wooded, and when the police patrol arrived, they found Burke lying unconscious on the roadside and bleeding profusely from his wounds.

He was taken to Mr. Alcorn’s residence, where he was attended by the Rev. Fr. Nicholson, C.C., Annaghdown, and Dr. Goulding, Headford. He was removed to Galway Co. Hospital on Monday, where he lies in a precarious condition and reported not out of danger.

From the nature of the wounds, and the large number of pellets extracted, it is believed the shots were fired at about a range of ten yards.

No motive can be assigned for the affray beyond the suspicion of dissatisfaction at Mr. Alcorn’s refusal to set more of his lands on conacre to people in the neighbourhood.

1943

Increasing train discomfort

Recently, peeping somewhat apprehensively into the near future, we speculated on the plight of Galway citizens when the holiday rush of visitors crowds them off the local ‘buses. Nevertheless, we are not without hope that – shortage of petrol and scarcity of tyres notwithstanding – Mr. Rattray may be able to devise some means out of our difficulties in this respect when the time comes.

Another transport which is imminent concerns the train service between Galway and the Capital. We all know what an ordeal a journey between those two points proved during the height of the holiday season last year. It was not an uncommon experience to have to make the entire journey of 130 miles standing in a crowded corridor.

Four splendid steel coaches of the most modern type, a credit to the Irish builders and the company that owned them, had been employed on the Western run, but, when the number of trains per day was reduced, these vehicles were taken off and some of the oldest and most out-of-date rolling stock that survived the company’s yards took their place.

The only excuse that we have heard given for this curious action was that the moth-eaten dug-outs could carry more passengers in every compartment. The explanation never was very convincing.

Probably it is with the same idea that it is now proposed to abolish the dining car between Galway and Dublin. Somebody at Kingsbridge says: “Let us cut out the diner and we can put on another old shandrydan and carry another hundred passenger sardines.”

It cannot be argued that the diner did not pay. It must have paid because it was always crowded. It cannot be a shortage of food supplies because things have not yet come to pass in this country so far as catering is concerned.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.