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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Enda Cunningham

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St Joseph's College at Nuns Island in Galway City on the day it closed in the summer of 1970 before it was knocked down to make way for the new building. Even girls from other local schools turned up for the momentous occasion. Best known today as 'The Bish', this school building was then known as 'The Sem'.

1914

Forestalling at fairs

At the weekly meeting of Galway Urban Council, the Chairman, Mr. M. McDonogh mentioned the practice of forestalling at fairs. In connection with the September fair, which was to be held on Tuesday, the fair really took place on the two previous days.

It was an abuse that should be strongly condemned. It was unjust and unfair to people who waited for the day of the fair and who arrived on the advertised day, only to find that they had nothing to get.

Mr. Griffin said that if they had power to prosecute, they should do so. Forestalling had a most injurious effect on the fair.

Chairman: Of course, we have power to prosecute.

Mr. Silke: It is most unjust to the public, as well as buyers and sellers.

The Chairman’s suggestion, that the Council would take steps to prosecute parties who infringed the rules of the Fairs’ Committee, was ordered to be sent to the different almanacs.

1939

Hitler unpopular

Herr Adolf Hitler is the most unpopular man in Connemara at the moment, for he has ruined the tourist trade, which for the past month was the best for many years. There was an almost complete evacuation of the area by tourists during the weekend, and the flight continues even at the moment of writing.

One would think that Connemara was going to be the first objective of the German bombers. The local telegraph messengers all over Connemara had a busy time last week delivering telegrams to the hotels.

Every telegram was followed by feverish activity on the part of one or other of the tourist parties. There was a hurried packing of luggage, followed by a hurried meal, and someone’s happy holiday was brought to an abrupt ending.

In a jam

In dismissing a food and drugs prosecution for having for sale jam which on analysis was deficient in fruit contents against Mr. Michael Cahill (Cahill and Co., Ballinasloe, Galway and Tuam), Mr. T.G. O’Sullivan, Acting District Justice, said the prosecution and the public had his full sympathy but there was no legislative standard laid down regarding jam, and he dismissed the case.

He hoped the matter would go to a higher court, he added, but he could not do what the prosecution were asking him to do, to assume the duties of the legislature and make regulations regarding the standard at which jams should be sold to the public.

Guard Burke, food and drugs inspector, Ballinasloe, deposed to purchasing a pot of jam labelled ‘strawberry and apple’ from Cahill’s premises in Ballinasloe. He sent it to the public analyst, Mr. Thorpe, and the certificate showed that it did not contain fifty per cent fruit, or fifty per cent of the first named on the label, ‘strawberry’.

He maintained, therefore, that the jam was deficient and did not purport to be what it was labelled and sold as.

On hearing further evidence and quoted cases from law reports, the Justice said he was dismissing the case but the prosecution and the public had his full sympathy. He hoped the case would go further, but he could not assume the duties of the State legislative and fix a standard.

On the evidence, he dismissed the prosecution on the merits. The law would become chaotic if District Justices and Judges were to be allowed to fix up standards in these cases.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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During an ESB power strike in April 1972, petrol pumps had to be operated with a winder, but Declan Forde of Prospect Hill, Gawlay City, found a more novel way of doing it - using a bicycle. The back tyreless wheel of the bicycle was connected to the pump by a belt, with the pedals rotating as petrol was pumped. Declan commented at the time: "This unique method brought us more customers, because by using the bike we pumped the petrol three times faster than the ordinary ESB current." Also in the photograph are Pat Kenehan (right) watching Joe Flaherty operate the pump.

1921

Bad buying policy

It is interesting and useful to speculate how far the conditions that prevailed at Galway great annual fair on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were due to its postponement on the one hand, and to the circumstances of our time on the other.

No doubt, the enforced adjournment and the uncertainty as to when the fair would be held combined to reduce the attendance.

It is possible that stock which, in the ordinary course, would have been taken to the fair had it been held at the appointed time, were disposed of by other means. Against this we have the fact that the fixture in point of attendance and sales was smaller than a normal monthly fair.

The truth is that cumulative causes contributed to its partial failure. Of these the postponement was only incidental. Only 159 wagon loads of stock left Galway during the two days against 259 at the annual fair last year and 360 the previous year.

Whilst the Midland Great Western Railway Company did all that could have been expected in the circumstances to assist in making the fair a success, the Great Southern did practically nothing at all. Six wagons were placed at the disposal of purchasers by the latter company on the Limerick-Sligo branch.

This is illustrated by the fact that most of those who attended Galway fair arrived on the evening before; few ventured to make the journey on the actual morning of the fair. Again, buyers report that owing to the difficulties of transport, and the recent unnecessary foot and mouth scare, they cannot tranship cattle to anything like the same extent as formerly, and owning to the prolonged drought, there is a shortage of grass for grazing in the rich midland counties where extensive buyers keep their stock from one fair to the other.

Apart from these causes, another much more interesting explanation is given. It is suggested is that the country farmer has not yet realised that there is a considerable drop in prices, and has not adapted himself to the new conditions.

This fall, it is clamed, is likely to be retrogressive under present conditions. The cost of living is falling, and must fall still further in order to restore “the economic balance”. Yet farmers prefer to hold back their stock in expectation, apparently, that something like old prices will be restored, rather than part with them. This, a cattle-buying expert informs us, is bad policy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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High fashion at the Athenry Show on September 2, 1972.

1921

Careless farmers

The unfavourable spring and summer of 19230 were not altogether accountable for the partial failure of last season’s potato crop. Planting was deferred until three or four weeks after the usual time, and the spraying of the crop was very carelessly carried out.

Not more than half the usual quantities of spraying materials were sold last year in County Galway. The wagon loads of potatoes which County Galway consumers were obliged to get from other parts of Ireland to go to prove the care and attention taken from growers in other counties.

To meet the increased cost of labour and manures farmers must grow heavier crops, and avoid risks as far as possible. To do so, spraying must be carried out efficiently.

County Galway, with 24,000 Irish acres of potatoes, is the second county in Ireland in respect of area. The total yield in 1920 was about 100,000 tons below that of an average year, which was a serious loss to the farmers and a hardship on the townspeople.

We hope that the lesson of 1920 will not be forgotten, and that farmers will this year spray in time and thoroughly.

One of the farmer’s chief difficulties is keeping of his crops free from weeds. Unfortunately in this important matter some of our farmers are rather careless. They do not realises – probably through lack of education in the matter – that where a crop is allowed to get weedy, the material resources of the land are being doubly taxed, and the crop which it is intended to grow cannot be a viable, much less a financial success.

The farmer has no power over some of the circumstances which determine the success or failure of a crop, and it is, therefore, a short-sighted policy for him not to use every means in his power to check weeds over which he has complete control.

Our attention has been directed to this matter by the number of cornfields in some districts, which are covered with the weed well-known to farmers as “Baráiste”.

We cannot estimate the extent of the damage caused year after year to our corn crops, but it must be very considerable. The yield of gran is greatly reduced, and the quality seriously impaired.

Modern science has given us a simple, effective, remedy involving little labour. This remedy has been used successfully for some years past by the best of our farmers, but we deeply regret the lack of enthusiasm displayed by many of our tillers in connection with the destruction of this objectionable weed.

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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Galway Sheep Breeders 49th Annual Show at Athenry Mart on September 21, 1972.

1921

Village halls

Young men and women of the present day expect and obtain more time for recreation than their parents. The monotony of young lives in the country districts leads to a desire to leave comfortable homes for the towns, or to emigrate.

In this work of reconstruction, which we hope will not long be delayed every means by which the young people can be induced to remain on the land must be considered.

Village halls can be made to play an important part in this respect by providing facilities for recreation and enabling those with progressive tendencies to continue with their reading and education after leaving the national schools.

To encourage a taste for reading and the acquirement of useful knowledge, every hall should be provided with a small library containing a selection of suitable books. The erection and equipment of such halls should not be left to voluntary effort, but should be looked upon as a national duty for which public money ought to be provided, and for which the country would be repaid in an enlightened, industrious and efficient rural population.

Custom House attacked

A large force of armed men raided the Custom House, Dublin, at one point on Wednesday, held up the staff and set fire to the building, which was completely destroyed. Yesterday morning the flames could be seen issuing from the surrounds.

The many Government departments in the building included the offices of the Local Government Board, Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue, the Old Age Pensions, and their valuable documents have been reduced to ashes.

From the housetops and the streets of Dublin on Wednesday afternoon, thousands witnessed the aftermath of one of the most serious assaults made by the I.R.A. upon the institutions of the Crown – the burning of the famous Custom House.

Following the burning, nearly a score were killed or wounded in a battle between the I.R.A. and R.I.C. Auxiliaries of the F and Q Companies.

The building was so badly devastated that to-day only the walls and a portion of the Local Government Board Office are still standing.

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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