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CITY TRIBUNE

Coláiste Éinde set to celebrate 90th anniversary

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Coláiste Éinde (St Enda’s College) in Salthill is planning a celebration for past pupils, friends and staff this October to mark the 90th anniversary of the school.

Founded in 1928 by the Irish Free State, Coláiste Éinde preparatory college was an all-boys boarding school that recruited primary school students who were firstly fluent in Irish. After four years, students who passed the Leaving Cert were guaranteed places in St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra to train as primary school teachers.

An t-Athair Aindrias Ó Seasnáin, a close friend of Fr Griffin, who was killed by the Black and Tans, was first president of Coláiste Éinde and there were 29 pupils in the first class.

Originally located in Na Forbacha at a temporary building on land owned by the Blake family, Coláiste Éinde move to its current home in Salthill in 1937. It was constructed by J Stewart Ltd at a cost of £85,394.

Threadneedle Road wasn’t always earmarked for St Enda’s, however. According to a history of the school, written by history teacher Tony O’Leary, for its 75th anniversary, the site was originally earmarked for the San Louis Order of nuns, who hoped to use it for a girls’ organisation.

“Dr O’Doherty, Bishop of Galway, did not however favour a new order of nuns having the site,” according to the 75th anniversary book.

The school was under construction in 1929, 1930 and 1931. In 1932 – the year Éamon de Valera came to power with Fianna Fáil – the new class of St Enda’s included Pádraig Ó hAoidhne who later composed the music for our national anthem, Amhrán na bhfiann or The Soldier’s Song.

It was originally intended to be a three-storey building but the school plans were simplified and a two-storey building was completed and opened on Threadneedle Road on October 10, 1937. One of the new pupils of that year, Donnchadh Ó Gallchóir, was later to become Minister for the Gaeltacht in 1978.

A milestone in the history of the St Enda’s came in 1939, during World War Two or ‘The Emergency’ when the pupils were moved to Dublin because the school building was being used as a military hospital.

Mr O’Leary wrote: “In October 1939, the Athenia sank in Galway Bay. For the more than 100 survivors rescued by the Norwegian ship Knut Nielson, the Bishop of Galway offered refuge at St. Enda’s. School holidays were extended while sailors from the ship took over the kitchen and passengers from Europe and America were looked after.

“The Army now occupied the East wing of the school as a military hospital. In 1944 prior to D-Day, de Valera was asked to take injured soldiers from Italy and Germany. For a while, the Department of Defence used the whole building as a hospital. A red cross was painted on the roof. The school was temporarily moved to Dublin.”

In the 1960s and 1970s, as secondary schools were now opening in Gaeltacht areas, St Enda’s, like other preparatory schools, became a ‘normal’ secondary school. It was not feasible to continue as an all-Irish school but an “all subjects through Irish’ stream was available and many boarders continued to come from the Aran Islands as well as the Connemara and Mayo Gaeltachts.

The Irish stream was available up until 1984 and a couple of years after that the boarding tradition ceased in the school.

Coláiste Éinde’s transformation was complete in 1992 when the school became co-education and welcomed its first group of girls into first year.

Students have gone on to make a huge impact in the fields of the arts, politics, education, sporting life and journalism.

The anniversary (1928-2018) provides past pupils and staff an opportunity to meet up and reminisce. It takes place on October 28 (Bank Holiday weekend).

The school will be open for past pupils to visit and there will be an exhibition of photos and memorabilia following light refreshments at 3pm.

Mass will be celebrated in the college chapel at 5pm and it will then move to The Ardilaun Hotel for dinner at 6.30pm.

■ Tickets priced at €50 will be available from the school from August 7. Contact 90thanniversary@colaisteeinde.ie for all enquiries.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council to ‘review’ Kirwan junction

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Councillors are demanding proof that the €5 million spent to transform Kirwan Roundabout into a signalised junction was money well spent – blasting the new junction as having created long delays and worsening rat-running.

A meeting of the local authority last week heard that while there was a general acceptance there would be ‘teething problems’ with the traffic-light junction after it became operational in July, ongoing issues were continuing to draw the ire of road users and local residents.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said he was one of five councillors on the previous Council to initially vote against the removal of the roundabout, based on fears that it would increase traffic through local residential areas – a fear that had been realised.

“What changes have been needed to be done since it went live,” asked the former Mayor, indicating that there had been little improvement.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said he understood that enhancement works were being done, but more were required.

“A lot of drivers are avoiding it and its driving traffic through the likes of Terryland Business Park. The Tuam Road is now gridlocked,” he said, calling on the Council to do a “PR exercise” to encourage drivers back to Kirwan.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said the junction continued to confuse people and suggested that “overhead hanging signs” would be of assistance.

Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy said when the roundabout was slated for removal, it was promised that delays would be reduced by 25% and rat-running by 90% – but as yet, no evidence had been provided to show this.

“We need to put some science on this.

“The rat-running has moved to Dyke Road and there are some sections of that road where there are no footpaths, so it is quite dangerous for pedestrians,” said Cllr Murphy.

Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the meeting he believed there was a silent majority that were satisfied with the new junction.

He said that the junction’s ‘go live’ date was July 19, which coincided with the reopening of many parts of society that had been in lockdown due to Covid, and that had contributed to additional traffic.

“The first two objectives were to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and those objectives have been achieved.

“There will be a post project review – that is something that we always do and I would be happy to bring that back to Council for its consideration,” said Mr Finn.

Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed that review was set to get underway.

“It will go through the various elements and if issues arise following the review, they will be addressed,” he said.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Thieves target cars as owners unload shopping bags

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Galway shoppers have been advised by Gardaí not to leave their vehicles unlocked or unattended as they bring their shopping into their homes.

This follows reports in the Newcastle area of opportunist thieves ‘striking’ as the shopping bags were being moved into houses.

One resident told the Galway City Tribune that the thieves waited until the person had taken a bag of shopping from their cars to bring into their home.

“This gives the thieves a minute or two to have a quick look in the car – what they seem to be looking for are purses, bags or wallets that are left behind in the car,” the resident stated.

He added that some of local residents had notices two ‘youngish lads’ – possibly in their late teens or early 20s – hanging around the Newcastle Park Road area over the past week or two.

“I just think that people need to be on their guard for this kind of opportunist theft. They just wait until the driver goes inside the house with the shopping and before they come back out, they do a quick search of the car,” he said.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that opportunist thieves would always be ‘on the look out for a handy theft’.

“What I would advise is that either have someone to keep an eye on the car when the shopping is being removed – or else lock the car each time, and don’t leave any cash or valuables in the vehicle.

“It might be an inconvenience to lock the car each time you go back into the house, but it is still far better than having something stolen from your vehicle,” said Sgt Walsh.

He also urged, that as a matter of routine, no one should leave any valuables in their cars when they parked them up.

“Even the coins that some people keep in car pockets for parking or other small payments can attract thieves. Never leave anything of value in your vehicles,” he said.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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