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Connacht Tribune

Digitised archive paints picture of three centuries of Galway life




A veritable treasure trove of photographs and sketches – offering a snapshot of life in Galway and the west over three centuries – has been digitised and put online for all the world to see.

The Galway pictures are part of a core collection from Getty Images and cover events from the Land Wars to the 1916 Rising – while also depicting every day rural life in Ireland.

The digitisation is the work of Ancestry, a global leader in family history and consumer genomics, and covers an enormous period of Ireland’s history from 1704 right up to 1989.

This is one of a series of sketches made ‘on eviction duty in Ireland’ and is labelled ‘a straw hut on the mountain side, the only shelter after eviction’.. Credit: and Getty Images Collection

The sketches, original black and white prints and photos from the Getty Collection can be viewed at UK, Historical Photographs and Prints, 1704-1989.

Searchable by location, date and subject, many of the images also have detailed captions including full names and print subject, making them an invaluable resource for family research and photography enthusiasts alike.

The collection’s timespan covers prints from the Land Wars of the late 1800’s, photos from both WWI and WWII, the 1916 Rising and the sinking of the Lusitania.

But the Getty Images Collection also contains a wealth of captivating everyday insights, documenting a continuously-evolving Irish society, sparked by innovation, social and cultural progress – daily life in rural Ireland, women in the workplace, holidays and socialising.

Galway’s fishmarket at the Spanish Arch in the late 19th century. Credit: and Getty Images Collection

The Galway entries cover everything from the darkest days of rural evictions, through to images of the 19th century fishmarket at the Spanish Arch – and transatlantic liners leaving Galway docks at the height of World War II.

Getty Images was founded by Mark Getty, grandson of oil tycoon Paul Getty, and business partner Jonathan Klein and contains prints and photographs that capture some of the most defining moments in history, as well as displays of everyday life. Ancestry’s main collection is drawn from the Hulton Archive which includes the archive of seminal picture news weekly Picture Post, which ran between 1938 and 1957.

Users can access the collection for free over Easter by visiting between Friday and Monday.

A young Galway fishwife from the 1890’s. Credit: and Getty Images Collection

Ancestry’s Russell James described the collection as ‘a historical reminder of an ever-changing world, as seen through the lens of photographers working for the most famous name in the field’.

“Scenes of children playing, families visiting a local fair or long-forgotten hobbies are just as invaluable as written records for understanding our ancestors,” he said.

“Captured forever in time, these black and white prints and photos are a journey through the decades and document almost every aspect of life, from daily routines through to occasions of national celebration,” he added.

Joint hunt master, the Marquess of Sligo, leading out the Galway Blazers with Mrs Bowes-Daly after the opening meet in Athenry in November 1938. Credit: and Getty Images Collection

Ancestry harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives.

Ancestry has more than 2.7 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and seven million people in the AncestryDNA network.

Connacht Tribune

Biden is a Maree man!

Keith Kelly



US President-election Joe Biden.

The connections of incoming US President, Joe Biden, to Mayo and Louth on his mother’s side of his family have been widely reported – but it has emerged that he has just as strong links to a small townland outside Oranmore through his father’s side…as recently as four generations ago.

And the news has led to hopes that the President-elect will include a trip to Galway in any itinerary for a visit to Ireland during his presidency – and it is being reported this week that the incoming president will make Ireland his first state visit when he assumes office.

Contact had been made with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s office with the news of the President-elect’s Galway links ahead of his visit to Ireland in 2016, but Liam Hanniffy – who has uncovered the link between his family and that of Mr Biden, was told that the itinerary had already been planned, and a visit to Galway was not possible.

Liam Hanniffy, who is from Ballinacourty in Maree, has been researching his family tree since been contacted by a man from America in 2014 saying they were third cousins, and both were also related to the then US Vice-President, Joe Biden.

Research by Liam has discovered that a man called John Hanniffy, who was born just over 200 years ago in Ballinacourty Hill in Maree, is actually the great-great grandfather of the President-elect – and to make the Galway link even stronger, John Hanniffy married a woman whose parents was also born in the same townland, meaning two of his great-great-great grandparents also came from the same townlands nestled on Galway Bay.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at

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Connacht Tribune

Galway all set to re-open for business

Dara Bradley



Shop will be back.

Galway has earned the right to re-open – local lockdown sacrifices have suppressed the virus in the community, the latest figures confirm.

The collective effort of city and county residents over six weeks drove down the infection rate to one of the lowest in the country.

Gyms, all retail, hairdressers, personal services and possibly religious services and some entertainment are on course to re-open next week.

Government will announce plans for hospitality, with publicans, and in particular those who don’t serve food, hopeful they won’t be left behind. Plans to ease Christmas visiting restrictions will also be unveiled Friday.

Galway had one of Ireland’s highest Covid-19 figures when the country entered Level 5 lockdown in October but the latest stats reveal a massive turnaround.

Galway recorded 168 new confirmed cases in the fortnight to Monday, which equates to a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of 65.1, compared with the national average of 107.8. The incidence rate peaked at 313.9 per 100,000 in October when the number of weekly cases in Galway hit a staggering 500 – ten times this week’s total of 50 cases in the seven days up to Monday.

In the week to Saturday, 28 Covid outbreaks were recorded in the West, down from 36 the previous week. Eighteen of the new clusters were in private homes and nine were in extended family and community.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at

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Connacht Tribune

Galway mum’s support from home as toddler battles rare cancer

Denise McNamara



Little fighter...Grace Bridges.

A Galway woman living in Sydney has been overwhelmed by the support shown by family and friends in her native Loughrea since her toddler Grace was diagnosed with a rare cancer last January.

“One of my friends said you can see Ireland with all the candles lighting for Grace,” reflects Emma Bane, over the phone from her child’s hospital bed which has become an all-too-familiar second home for the pair.

Yet still Grace fights, beating all the odds, as she approaches her second birthday on December 11. Metastatic Hepatoblastoma is so rare it affects one in a million children.

They returned to Westmead Hospital in the western suburbs of Sydney over a week ago after catching the common cold as her immune system is so compromised after 40 doses of chemotherapy.

Another 30 doses are planned.

“We call her our little warrior princess. She’s had three life-threatening trips to intensive care. When pathology looked at her blood sample her tumour markers were so high they couldn’t quantify them – they’d never seen anything like it. This is the third time we’ve been told she wouldn’t make it.”

Grace gets very sick when undergoing the chemo in 21 days cycles and usually has to be admitted due to severe diarrhoea and dehydration.

After her fifth surgery in September, oncologists warned that this latest round of chemo is her last chance at survival.

“They tell us to be hopeful and so far she’s beaten all the odds. That’s how amazing she is. She’s had 500 needles from February till October and 60 blood transfusions – she’s really been through the mill.”

As have Emma and her husband Adam Bridges.


There is a GoFundMe page set up to help with the cost of medical expenses. To contribute go to

This is the correct address; there was a typographical error in the one which appears in this week’s paper and on the digital edition.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at

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