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Death of well-known Galway historian Peadar O’Dowd


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Death of well-known Galway historian Peadar O’Dowd Death of well-known Galway historian Peadar O’Dowd

Peadar O’Dowd, the well-known Galway historian, has died.

Peadar, a retired GMIT lecturer and a columnist for the past 30 years with the Connacht Sentinel, Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune, was also the author of more than ten books on Galway.

Just last week, he penned his final column for this newspaper and bid farewell to his loyal readers.

A native of Bohermore who continued to live there throughout his life, he was regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the history and built heritage of Galway. The graduate of University College Galway was also a celebrated illustrator.

Among his most popular titles are Old and New Galway, Vanishing Galway, Down by the Claddagh and Galway in Old Photographs.

His weekly column covered a myriad of topics relating to the past and current history of the city, with intricate explorations of Lough Corrib and the network of canals and mills.

Named as one of the 12 heroes of Galway’s waterways, Peadar formed the Galway Waterways Preservation Society in 1967 which successfully blocked plans to turn the Eglinton Canal into a road and the Claddagh Basin into a car park.

He published one of the first guidebooks on canal walks. Ghosts in the city was the subject of one of his more unusual missives. His book on tracing Galway ancestors was a much sought-out guide for the diaspora.

In 2011 his achievements were recognised by NUI Galway when he was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts.

Peadar began his career as a teacher and joined the staff of GMIT as a business studies lecturer in the 1970s, explains his great friend and fellow historian William Henry.

“Peadar was the driving force for me studying archaeology and history. He was involved in many heritage societies over the years, leading groups on tours and outings across the country. As President of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, he was instrumental in having many historic and archaeological sites preserved.”
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the January 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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