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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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

Galway In Days Gone By 

1914

Possibility of invasion

In local circles, one of the subjects most frequently discussed is the possibility of invasion. We have to remember, however, that even if some straggling German cruisers should get through to here, which is unlikely, the Atlantic squadron lies beyond our shores, patrolling up and down, night and day.

Moreover, aeroplanes skirt the shores, and keep a look-out to sea at frequent intervals; and only a week ago, one of these air-patrols was seen by early risers flying low along the coast.

Although Galway, and indeed, the Western Irish coast generally are practically devoid of permanent fortifications, thus admitting the suspicion that if England were in trouble, she would leave Ireland to take care of herself, it is a well-known fact that, upon the approach of an enemy, landing could be rendered practically impossible by a well-devised system of submarine mines.

For instance, the entrance to Galway Bay, at Aran, could be mined well within a couple of hours. In this way, a landing in force at any well-known harbour could be prevented – provided, of course, the enemy did not steal in unobserved, which, in present circumstances at any rate. Is quite beyond the range of possibility.

The Government, however, would have been well-advised to have established a harbour on the Western Irish coast, to which foodstuffs could easily be conveyed from the colonies in time of war, and communications kept up almost in any eventuality.

1939

Preparing for War

“The war may come at any minute, probably tonight or tomorrow,” telegraphs our London Correspondent at 4pm on Thursday. “I think the Hungarian affair was a ‘blind’ and that the German army is prepared to attack Poland, which holds that with its well-equipped army mobilised, it could keep the Germans at bay even without assistance for six months.

All London police officers who were away on leave have been recalled, and all leave has been stopped in the case of police, army and navy.

Poteen makers

How a party of Gardaí came across a poteen stil under full steam and attended by two men in the small hours of the morning at Burnthouse, Oughterard, was told at Oughterard District Court, when Thomas Carter was charged with illicit distillation and possession of poteen.

Garda Keaney said that on April 14, he was on duty with Gardaí Daly and Twomey at Burnthouse. When they approached a fire which they had seen in the distance at 1.30am they saw defendant and another man working at a stil making poteen.

Witnessed jumped out and caught defendant. The other man ran away, Witness and the other Gardaí seized one five gallon jar and five naggin bottles, all full of poteen. They also seized the still and two forty-gallon barrels.

Mr. L.E. O’Dea pleaded guilty on behalf of the defendant and said that he had lost the stil and worm, which cost him ten or twelve pounds. It was the first occasion upon which he had been charged.

District Justice Sean Mac Giollarnath imposed a suspensory sentence of three months’ imprisonment, not to be enforced if defendant is not convicted of a similar charge within the next three years.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Prizewinners at Ballinasloe Show on October 5, 1970. From left: Matthew Conneely, Kilconnell, Matthew Conneely (Junior), John Callanan, Calla, Kilconnell and Seán Conneely, Kilconnell.

1921

Grim legacy

“What did we get from the Government in the Famine?” asked the Most Rev. Dr. Duggan. And the answer was, “The Poorhouses.” They came as a legacy of these grim years, a miserable palliative instead of a radical cure.

When 1845 opened, there were 114 of them throughout Ireland, and impoverished ratepayers had to pay for their upkeep. Their erection was, indeed, in some measure, instituted as a relief work.

The famine had swept over the land, leaving us the most tragic chapters in our history. Grim, black death in a country where there was plenty, if only it had been efficiently distributed, and kept for the hapless people at home.

The Irish Poor Law was rooted in misery, and continued throughout all these years as a cumbersome degradation, designed for the encouragement of the mendicant and the wastrel, to crush the last vestige of self-respect from those whom it once caught within its toils.

With the exception of the admirable boarding-out systems instituted by some of our more humane boards – notably Galway Guardians, whose clerk took a keen personal interest in making some of his charges into good citizens – we know no instance in which the vicious Poor Laws as operated in Ireland did anything but harm.

They ground down the ratepayers; they did not serve the poor in any measure commensurate with the expenditure involved in an army of officials, an array of buildings that badged with poverty one of the finest agricultural countries in the world.

Unions amalgamated

On the motion of Dr. Walsh, Galway Co. Council at its quarterly meeting on Saturday finally adopted a scheme for “the amalgamation of the county unions” – in reality, for doing away with the unions altogether as such.

The scheme under which the Poor Laws of the country will be administered on an entirely new basis, will be as follows: One central hospital for Galway with motor ambulances; one central home for the old and infirm in Tuam or Loughrea; children to be sent to an institution for which one workhouse may be used; unmarried mothers to be divided into two classes – first offenders to be dealt with in the same institution as the children and old offenders to be sent to the Magdalen Asylum; insane and epileptics to be put in a county home at present until they can be specially dealt with.

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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Some of the competitors show their prize-winning cakes and bread at Mountbellew Show on September 10, 1964.

1921

Tragedy and sorrow

Last winter was one of the blackest that Ireland has experienced in her long and chequered history. Men of sincere goodwill in all parties hope that we shall never witness its like again.

It has left the inevitable aftermath of tragedy, sorrow, suffering and present distress. It is the duty of all to help soften the bitterness of tragedy and sorrow, to alleviate suffering, to obviate present or future distress.

In the performance of this duty, no prejudice, no argument, no excuse can hold back the hand of charity, for it is a duty dictated by the laws of Christianity, sanctified by the kinship of common humanity since the world began.

“The White Cross”, we are told in the report of the delegation from the American Committee on Irish Relief, “makes appeal not in the name of any section of the people, but in the name of humanity. No political distinctions exist in suffering, and none must exist in relief. The men and women who constitute the Irish White Cross think differently on many thinks; they are united by the bond of charity”.

Risky business

We have, this year, a striking example of what a risky business our store cattle and sheep trade is. Many of our small farmers and farmers’ sons who have taken grazing during the past year or two have lost not only their savings of the war years but some of their capital.

The system most likely to give stability to farming in Co. Galway is one which the grazing of store cattle and sheep must give pride of place to the production of home-grown food.

The risk of loss on tillage farming can be controlled, to some extent, by sowing a variety of crops and by the careful selection of seeds and manures. A collection of kales and cabbages for stock feeding was an interesting feature of the County Committee’s educational exhibit at Ballinasloe Show.

Many of the varieties staged are little known or cultivated in this country, which seems extraordinary when we consider their many advantages.

Thousand-headed Kale, Drumhead, Flat Dutch and Savoy cabbages could supplement, or take the place of, the turnip crop in many districts where disease is prevalent, or where the land is otherwise unsuitable for the growth of roots.

It is only by the adoption of a system of mixed farming where sufficient food is grown for the number of stock on hands that steady prices can be obtained.

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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Pupils from St Patrick’s National School on their tour of a dairy farm on May 21, 1986. Seventy-five pupils from the city-based school were taken on a tour of Oranmore Dairies where they saw milk being prepared for the doorstep.

1921

Clocks falling back

Summer Time, as designed by statute of the British House of Commons, will end at 3 a.m. on the morning of Monday next, October 3. Thus, whilst the people sleep, time will be arrested, the clock will be thrown back an hour.

Time will, of course, move on its inexorable way quite irrespective of how man may mark its passage. Where the Summer Time has been kept, however, the hands of clocks and watches will be put back an hour on the Sunday night.

From the mechanical point of view, it is safer to put them forward eleven hours, or to stop them for an hour, as it is not good for the clocks or watches that the hands should be moved backwards.

In the county districts Summer Time was scarcely kept at all. The farmer was against it for two reasons: under Summer Time the world was not “aired” at the hour he or his hands would customarily start work, and he found that his workmen began by Winter Time but always stopped according to Summer Time!

Thus he lost a clear two hours. But there can be no doubt that in the towns and to all who work long hours in office, factory or shop, the institution of long summer evenings was a blessing; nor was the saving in artificial light to be despised.

Indeed, Summer Time brings more light to humanity, and enables us to live at smaller cost – facts which we hope the Irish legislature will not lose sight of next summer.

1946

Motorists stranded

Many motorists in Connemara were “caught napping” during the week-end when all the petrol pumps in the area went suddenly dry. Cars which set out on long journeys in the hope of replenishing petrol supplies en route were unable to return to their bases, and motorists stranded on the roadside were quite a common spectacle on Sunday.

For a long time past, motorists complain bitterly of the practice of some garage owners in reserving petrol supplies “for customers only.” Customers are those who lodge their coupons with the garage owner at the beginning of the month. This means that the garage owner’s licensed petrol pump becomes merely a storage tank for the convenience of a limited number of local motorists.

If the system is not illegal it ought to be so, and it certainly calls for investigation by the Department of Supplies.

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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