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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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A view from the top of Galway Cathedral during construction in January 1965.

1920

Settling the Irish Question

Frankly we do not believe the present British Government will ever make a serious or sincere effort to settle what it terms the “Irish Question.”

In the circumstances of British relations with Ireland to-day as revealed by the attitude of Mr. Lloyd George satellites, we quite sympathise with the little remnant of the Constitutional Irish Party in shaking the dust of Westminster off its feet during the elaborate farce that is now being enacted.

The bulk of legislators in that assembly have no real sympathy with Ireland, and act as if the terrible tragedy across Irish Sea did not exist.

But there is one important exception. Labour opinion in England in recent years has made wonderful advances in regards to Ireland. And we do not believe the Labour Party fully represents or expresses these advances.

During the week we beheld Labour in the country telling its representatives in the House of Commons that they did not go far enough on the Irish issue; that men must not be jailed without just cause and fair trial and conviction by ordinary process of law; that the nightmare of militarism must be lifted from our unhappy land, that Ireland must be free.

If Labour were in power to-morrow, Ireland would undoubtedly get all that she might reasonably demand; and the present majority at Westminster knows it, and strains every nerve that the truth about Ireland may be concealed from the English masses.

Saturday’s demonstrations at Hyde Park revealed as nothing else could the strength and the solidarity of Labour. It was a significant portent that the greatest gathering in all that vast assemblage of workers stood around the Sinn Féin platform.

In the heart the Empire ten thousand workers showed a desire to be told the truth that is so diligently hidden by a politically-minded Press. And let there be no mistake about it, the English politicians and the Press fear Labour.

For years, it has toiled at their terms. It has had no share in the good things of the wealthiest country in the world. To-day Labour dictates its own terms; and the politician looking abroad sees unrest everywhere, and fears that his days are numbered. He does not want to have to answer to Labour for the state of Ireland.

Rising prices

The prices of the mere necessaries of life still continue to soar (writes our Tuam correspondent), and the wage-earners in the town are hard hit.

Mutton and beef have advanced 4d. per lb. within the last week to 2s. 6d. per lb. No potatoes were brought into the market last Saturday because, apparently, the farmers do not wish to sell them below their own price.

Similarly, the turf is being held back. The Town Commissioners might be able to take the matter up and relieve the unfortunate people who are suffering most by reason of this action. If a committee met the Farmers’ Organisation a settlement of reasonable prices might be come to.

At the meeting of the Tuam Town Commissioners on Tuesday evening, Mr. M. Dwyer presiding, Mr. Byrne asked if the board was going to do anything about the present disturbed state of the market.

The townspeople were complaining owing to the starvation of the markets if the country people did not bring in potatoes. Mr. Burke: The Saturday before they were controlled a workman could not get a bag of potatoes, and the workmen of Tuam came here and organised themselves and made an effort to control the potatoes but they didn’t go the right way about it.

The land sharks kept the potatoes out last Saturday and they should be made toe the line. – Mr Burke: Hundreds of tons are exported from Ballyglunin, while the poor of the town starve.

Mr. P. Walsh: The shopkeepers and Town Commissioners are blamed for it. – Chairman: The price was reduced to 1s. a stone, and the Transport Workers thought they were doing a good turn for the people of the town, and, unfortunately, it turned out the reverse, and created a lot of dissension. – Mr. Coogan: it is the exporters they should get at, and the matter would settle itself.

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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Children examine the carcass of a 40-foot sperm whale, beached in Loughaunrone near Oranmore in September 1997. The whale was later burned on the beach as Council engineers were concerned about the danger of seepage if the giant mammal was buried.

1922

Connemara raids

The Publicity Department, Railway Hotel, Galway, issues the following: – Mr. Richard O’Toole, Lettermore, Connemara, has been forced to leave his home as a result of a raid made upon it by irregulars and subsequent threats.

A few nights ago, a party of men came to Mr. O’Toole’s home and demanded his motor bicycle. He refused to give it. The leader of the raiders, tapping his gun, said: “Do you see this?”

“Shoot away,” was Mr. O’Toole’s reply, and the raiders are then said to have gone to the garage to look for the machine. He managed, however, to get the machine, and to make his way to Galway. The men threatened that they would return to his house on the succeeding night and take him.

He was obliged to leave some men to mind his mother, who is very nervous, and falls into a faint when a raid takes place.

The house of Mr. Cloherty at Roundstone was also visited and about £40 worth of stuff taken. Mr. Cloherty is the father of Mr. J. J. Cloherty, a well-known County Councillor, and is a strong supporter of the Treaty.

A shop in Kilkerrin was also raided, and a considerable quantity of goods taken.

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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Thatching one of the houses on Shantalla Road, just up from Cooke's Corner, in the 1970s.

1922

The third Dáil

The first meeting of the third Dáil held on Saturday morning last at Leinster House, Kildare-street, the premises of the Royal Dublin Society, recalled for a few minutes some of the stormy scenes at Westminster when Irish affairs were being discussed.

On Saturday, as then, Mr Laurence Ginnell was the central figure. He is apparently always cast for the role of obstructionist in politics, and on Saturday he made full use of his opportunity, with the result that, as at Westminster, he was carried form his seat by three stalwart attendants and expelled from the Assembly.

The Dáil met in the theatre of the house, a semi-circular room with seats rising tier upon tier from an open space in the centre. At the back of the last row of seats there is a promenade, and for some time before the Dáil was due to open, Mr. Ginnell, black band in hand and slouch, hat on head, marched round and round, speaking to no one, but apparently, like an arch conspirator, deep in thought.

Probably he felt lonely, for he was the only one of the anti-treaty members elected to the Dáil who put in an appearance. Miss MacSwiney and the rest, who were known to be in Dublin, have presumably decided to observe a policy of abstention.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Bridge Mills Ltd building in Galway City in the 1970s.

1922

New chief

General Richard Mulcahy, the successor of the General Michael Collins as Commander-in-Chief of the National Army, was quite unknown to the Irish people until the Insurrection of Easter, 1916, and not very prominent until considerably later than that historic and eventful episode.

He is a native of Carrick-on-Suir, County Waterford, where his father was a postmaster for several years, and he himself was engaged in the postal engineering service in addition to pursuing his studies in the National University as a student of medicine.

He fought with the Fingal Volunteers under Thomas Ashe, and with the late Frank Lawless, T.D., in the battle of Ashbourne on Friday, April 28, 1916. The details of that engagement have often been told. The Volunteers armed with shotguns and rifles, mostly captured from the R.I.C. at Swords and Donabate, attacked the police barracks at the Cross of the Rath.

The battle began at 11.25 a.m. The attackers numbered thirty-five. After half an hour, the police in the barracks were about to surrender when eighteen cars, containing reinforcements, dashed along the Slane Road. A fierce fight ensued. Lawless, with a few more Volunteers, arrived later with two can bombs – “a contribution,” wrote Mulcahy in a most vivid and graphic description of the battle, “from those who had been driven from Phibsboro Bridge.”

That was all the additional help Ashe received. The engagement lasted over three hours more, but though less than forty against a hundred R.I.C., they gained a complete victory. The constabulary were heavily punished, and the survivors put up their hands and surrendered.

At the end of the Insurrection Mulcahy was rounded up and brought to Richmond barracks, Dublin, and on May 3, with 307 other prisoners, he was marched through Dublin and sent over the water to Knutsford prison. He was released at the general amnesty which followed.

When the Volunteers were reorganised, largely in the jails and detention camps, and the Irish war projected, Richard Mulcahy was appointed Chief of Staff, with Michael Collins Chief of the Intelligence Department.

The two of them were the most important men in the great struggle, the life and soul of Ireland’s forces, the originators of some of the most audacious and successful military coups, the supervisors of the chief operations, and the men most sought for by the agents of the British Government and army.

It is very doubtful if, indeed, Mulcahy was not as greatly dreaded and as eagerly hunted for as his departed and devoted comrade in arms. He was quite as successful in eluding the sleuth of hounds as Collins himself, and he had as frequent and as narrow escapes from capture.

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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