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Galway in Days Gone By

A peep at life through an old set of drawers

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

A bit like moving house, an impending change in workplace location seems to bring its own pressures, mostly emotional.  I never realised that poring through old files, pictures, letters, CDs and books could transport the mind and spirit into a place that only seems to have been a day away . . . and yet in cases it’s been 30 years ago.

Most of us probably harbour some degree of a hoarding instinct. Little did I realise that I had stored up documentation about a new tractor model, the layers of the atmosphere, a trip to Italia ’90 or a printed weather forecast from a week in May, 2004.

Here and there on random TV viewing treks, I’ve come across programmes about ‘professional hoarders’ – the people who just cannot rid of anything in their houses.

The result of the fanatical hoarders tends to be pretty catastrophic with barely enough route space to access the rooms in the house. Junk takes up space – an awful lot of space.

And yet, I don’t how many times maybe around the garden shed or the farmyard when I’ve made a decision that a plant, piece of iron or rusty tool is of no use any more, only to curse aloud a few days later when the discarded item is just what I needed to plug some gap or hole.

I’ll invent a word for the practice – ‘hoardaphilia’ – and it’s not the easiest of conditions to shake off, even if strongly armed with a determined initial resolve to end up with a clean sheet in terms of both materials and emotion.

Going through old stuff for the purpose of discarding is in a way a bit like looking back on your life with all its little ups-and-downs . . . the parties, the retirements, the work colleagues we knew for years who are no longer with us.

It works in much the same way as a song or piece of music from the past that transports your mind back into a time and place now long gone from your life.

Years back, I had an old uncle blessed with a photographic memory but as the years rolled by and he slipped into his 80s, we would find it hilarious how he sometimes would miss out completely on a generation. Instead of the son or daughter, he’d actually be meaning the grandfather or grandmother. Over the past week, I kind of tuned into what was happening with him.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Children examine the carcass of a 40-foot sperm whale, beached in Loughaunrone near Oranmore in September 1997. The whale was later burned on the beach as Council engineers were concerned about the danger of seepage if the giant mammal was buried.

1922

Connemara raids

The Publicity Department, Railway Hotel, Galway, issues the following: – Mr. Richard O’Toole, Lettermore, Connemara, has been forced to leave his home as a result of a raid made upon it by irregulars and subsequent threats.

A few nights ago, a party of men came to Mr. O’Toole’s home and demanded his motor bicycle. He refused to give it. The leader of the raiders, tapping his gun, said: “Do you see this?”

“Shoot away,” was Mr. O’Toole’s reply, and the raiders are then said to have gone to the garage to look for the machine. He managed, however, to get the machine, and to make his way to Galway. The men threatened that they would return to his house on the succeeding night and take him.

He was obliged to leave some men to mind his mother, who is very nervous, and falls into a faint when a raid takes place.

The house of Mr. Cloherty at Roundstone was also visited and about £40 worth of stuff taken. Mr. Cloherty is the father of Mr. J. J. Cloherty, a well-known County Councillor, and is a strong supporter of the Treaty.

A shop in Kilkerrin was also raided, and a considerable quantity of goods taken.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Thatching one of the houses on Shantalla Road, just up from Cooke's Corner, in the 1970s.

1922

The third Dáil

The first meeting of the third Dáil held on Saturday morning last at Leinster House, Kildare-street, the premises of the Royal Dublin Society, recalled for a few minutes some of the stormy scenes at Westminster when Irish affairs were being discussed.

On Saturday, as then, Mr Laurence Ginnell was the central figure. He is apparently always cast for the role of obstructionist in politics, and on Saturday he made full use of his opportunity, with the result that, as at Westminster, he was carried form his seat by three stalwart attendants and expelled from the Assembly.

The Dáil met in the theatre of the house, a semi-circular room with seats rising tier upon tier from an open space in the centre. At the back of the last row of seats there is a promenade, and for some time before the Dáil was due to open, Mr. Ginnell, black band in hand and slouch, hat on head, marched round and round, speaking to no one, but apparently, like an arch conspirator, deep in thought.

Probably he felt lonely, for he was the only one of the anti-treaty members elected to the Dáil who put in an appearance. Miss MacSwiney and the rest, who were known to be in Dublin, have presumably decided to observe a policy of abstention.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Bridge Mills Ltd building in Galway City in the 1970s.

1922

New chief

General Richard Mulcahy, the successor of the General Michael Collins as Commander-in-Chief of the National Army, was quite unknown to the Irish people until the Insurrection of Easter, 1916, and not very prominent until considerably later than that historic and eventful episode.

He is a native of Carrick-on-Suir, County Waterford, where his father was a postmaster for several years, and he himself was engaged in the postal engineering service in addition to pursuing his studies in the National University as a student of medicine.

He fought with the Fingal Volunteers under Thomas Ashe, and with the late Frank Lawless, T.D., in the battle of Ashbourne on Friday, April 28, 1916. The details of that engagement have often been told. The Volunteers armed with shotguns and rifles, mostly captured from the R.I.C. at Swords and Donabate, attacked the police barracks at the Cross of the Rath.

The battle began at 11.25 a.m. The attackers numbered thirty-five. After half an hour, the police in the barracks were about to surrender when eighteen cars, containing reinforcements, dashed along the Slane Road. A fierce fight ensued. Lawless, with a few more Volunteers, arrived later with two can bombs – “a contribution,” wrote Mulcahy in a most vivid and graphic description of the battle, “from those who had been driven from Phibsboro Bridge.”

That was all the additional help Ashe received. The engagement lasted over three hours more, but though less than forty against a hundred R.I.C., they gained a complete victory. The constabulary were heavily punished, and the survivors put up their hands and surrendered.

At the end of the Insurrection Mulcahy was rounded up and brought to Richmond barracks, Dublin, and on May 3, with 307 other prisoners, he was marched through Dublin and sent over the water to Knutsford prison. He was released at the general amnesty which followed.

When the Volunteers were reorganised, largely in the jails and detention camps, and the Irish war projected, Richard Mulcahy was appointed Chief of Staff, with Michael Collins Chief of the Intelligence Department.

The two of them were the most important men in the great struggle, the life and soul of Ireland’s forces, the originators of some of the most audacious and successful military coups, the supervisors of the chief operations, and the men most sought for by the agents of the British Government and army.

It is very doubtful if, indeed, Mulcahy was not as greatly dreaded and as eagerly hunted for as his departed and devoted comrade in arms. He was quite as successful in eluding the sleuth of hounds as Collins himself, and he had as frequent and as narrow escapes from capture.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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