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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Participants in the Galway Youth Council's first-ever Youth Day in 1969 crossing the Salmon Weir Bridge. As part of the day's activities, the city's eight youth clubs, colleges and other youth organisations took part in the parade to Galway Cathedral, where a special Youth Mass was attended by about 2,000 young people.

1914
Battle of Mons

Private Duffy, of the Connaught Rangers, has come home to Galway, suffering from wounds sustained at Mons. He was engaged with his regiment, when he was struck on the hip by a portion of a spent shell.

The Connaughts, he said, arrived in France on the 15th August, and they were in action nine days later.

“We were not unduly rushed to the front, but were told that the French and Belgian armies needed reinforcements and we were not slow in moving forward.”

Prince of Wales Fund

Already distress is making itself felt in the city, as is apparent to even the most casual observer, and it is to be hoped, therefore, that the Committee formed to control the Prince of Wales’ Fund will take immediate steps to utilise the fund to the best advantage, and establish an organisation, the machinery of which will be entirely adequate to meet the needs of the city, and prevent complaints.

Complaints have reached us that, although the Fund has been distributed elsewhere, Galway has been behind in reaping any advantage. The Fund, it should be noted, is not confined to those who have relatives at the war, but it is for the benefit of anyone who is suffering from the effects of the war.

1939

The blackout effect

The blackout was the first drastic reminder people had of the outbreak of hostilities, and at first this caused some inconvenience to shoppers and pedestrians in Ballinasloe. It has now within the past week been taken as a matter of course, and business and private houses have cooperated in every way in complying with the order.

It is, however, in a few weeks hence, when winter time begins and the dark nights approach, that the full effects of the blackout restrictions will be felt by those attending fairs and markets, and especially in business houses.

Already it has been noticed that people are not inclined to remain outdoor as late as before the coming of the blackout, and business at markets and fairs are, as a consequence, expedited, and people from rural areas return home earlier.

State of panic

There was pandemonium on the Bundoracha side of Killary Bay last week, when a large metal object was seen floating in the sea a short distance from the shore. Cattle and sheep were removed from the vicinity and local inhabitants were in a state of dread,

A playboy in the crowd that watched the object from a distance identified it as a harmless buoy. Keeping his knowledge to himself, he procured a .22 rifle and informed the panic-stricken bystanders that he was about to fire at the “mine” and explode it.

“Evacuation” of the threatened area was carried out immediately and the crowd went scurrying up the hillside to take cover. With bated breath, they watched the playboy advance to the shore with his rifle.

Slowly and deliberately, he took aim and fired. Of course, he missed twice to prolong the agony and the “mine” was within a few yards of the shore when he hit it.

When it failed to explode, the playboy went one better by wading out and rolling the “mine” ashore. Even then he found it hard to convince the crowd that the thing was harmless.

For more, read this week’s 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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