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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Some of the taxi drivers involved in the 1972 speaking to Gardaí. The taxi drivers’ main grievance was that motorists were using the Eyre Square rank to park their cars, depriving them of access which they claimed was costing each taxi driver up to £400 per year.

1920

Dire city roads

The state of the roads within the borough boundary has become a by-word and a reproach. The surface is altogether worn away, and our principal public highways are intersected with deep water channels and dotted all over with dangerous pot holes.

The Urban Councillor who had the hardihood to declare that the road to Salthill was in good condition must never have mounted a bicycle or sat on a car or motor. Had he done so, he would speedily have discovered that the condition of the roads within the boundary bears most unfavourable comparison with the county roads.

The latter have improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. However much our country cousins may depreciate smooth highways for rubber tires, few can appreciate a good surface for horses and carts as they do. The county officials realise this fact and turn it to account by giving excellently-surfaced roads for the expenditure.

In the city it is far otherwise. Discussions on the roads do not seem to serve any purpose. Decisions are never translated to action. Where an attempt is made to fulfil instructions, it is only of the most half-hearted description and the work appears to be relinquished altogether on the smallest excuse. That essential quality of stick-to-itiveness seems altogether lacking.

The result is deplorable highways which, it is safe to say, could scarcely be exceeded for their bumpiness in any town in Europe.

Draining the Swamp

The reclamation of the Swamp is one of the few encouraging marks of recent progress. With a little improvement added year by year, it would now have been available to the citizens as a profit-bearing venue for sporting and other fixtures.

All things local, however, appear to suffer from a lack of continuity of effort. Some project is started and abandoned within sight of completion. Public attention is diverted elsewhere.

We do not wish to revive unpleasant memories, but we do wish to congratulate the Urban Council upon deciding to utilise the South Park money for the purpose for which it was intended and to proceed with the work without delay.

Work is necessary in Galway. The money was obtained for the express purpose of providing work and improving South Park. We would add a note of helpful criticism.

Why obscure the view of the Bay by a high wall when a high railing would be much more artistic and would serve the purpose intended? Mr. Binns’ estimate of £600 for the erection of the wall is unlikely to be realised in practice, and we fancy – subject to the correction of experts – that a suitable railing would be erected more cheaply.

At any rate, it would preserve one of the prettiest views in the city, and would enable a “gate” to be made when necessary.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

An aerial photo of the Docks area in Galway City, captured on May 5, 1970.

1920

Racing optimism

On page six we give the entries for the two principal events at the Galway meeting of 1920. These and the figures we published a week ago indicate that the meeting will outrival all previous records.

Ballybrit has been gaining fame from year to year. Six years ago, it was held under the shadow of the outbreak of the greatest war the world has known. The morrow was uncertain, the first money panic had begun, and students of affairs looked out upon a clouded horizon.

But Galway “carried on” bravely, and the famous week rant its course. Already there is gloomy speculation as to this year’s fixture, but there is an old axiom that “it is time enough, etc.”

The Cassandras love to indulge in gloomy prophecy, but the Race Committee is taking the sensible view, and proceeding with the preliminaries on a scale commensurate with the importance that will attach to this year’s event.

If the worst comes to the worst, and the railways bring us no passengers, the owners will find a way, and the sport-loving West will recognise that difficulties were made to be overcome.

The resources of a sporting people cannot be exhausted. “What did we do before James Watt made it possible to travel by steam?” asked an insuppressible optimist.

Bookeen siege

Rescued in the nick of time, seven policemen who had withstood a continuous siege lasting over two hours, escaped from the burning police barracks at Bookeen, County Galway, in the early hours of Friday morning.

The little garrison on the roadside station, about a mile from the main highway between Athenry and Loughrea, and six miles from the former town, numbered nine men, but one was absent in hospital on Thursday night and the other away.

The barracks was fortified in the usual way. It stood in a remote part of County Galway, the only other important building in the neighbourhood being a country church.

On Thursday night the customary preparations were being made for attack, trees being felled to blockade the approaching roads, and walls being built across them.

About midnight the station was attacked by rifle and revolver fire, and an attempt was made to blow it up and set it on fire.

The seven policemen stood to arms and replied with vigour, hurling hand grenades in the direction from which the fire of their invisible assailants came, but they were hampered by their surroundings and could not make an effective defence.

Meanwhile, Verey lights were sent up for help, and these with the sound of the high explosive rockets and the detonation of the bombs, made a deafening din.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Spectators at the Connacht Senior Football semi-final between Galway and Roscommon at McHale Park, Castlebar, on June 22, 1962, where Roscommon emerged as winners.

1920

Railway paralysis

Is there no group of men of good-will in Ireland who can prepare a way to bridge the present apparently irreconcilable differences between the railway men and the British Government? From small beginnings, the trouble has daily widened.

To-day passenger service is paralysed over three-fourths of the railway system of Ireland. A state of unrest and uncertainty prevails. Our commercial interests are being ruined. Tourist traffic is largely held up, and many districts are suffering severely.

Those who speak glibly about paralysing the entire railway system of the country can scarcely realise the significance of their words, or the dire results that such a state of things would bring about for the country.

It is better to examine calmly the source and extension of the trouble, and to see if a way out cannot be found.

The doctrine of refusing to handle munitions of war was first propounded by the Labour Party in England, who placed a ban on the sending of munitions by Britain to Poland to enable the Polish Government to make war on the Russians.

English Labour, whose views find no representation in the present coalition Cabinet, resorted to “direct action” to enforce its will. Just as the National Volunteers in Ireland first intimated the policy practised so successfully by Sir Edward Carson, so Irish Labour quickly took the hint from the heads of the principal transport organisations across the Channel.

In the result, the dockers at North Wall, with the tentative support of British Labour, refused to handle munitions that were being conveyed to Ireland by the British Government for the suppression of the Irish people, notwithstanding the fact that these munitions were loaded by fellow-workers on the other side from whose leaders the doctrine had originated.

Water power

An interesting sidelight on the manner in which the English Government in Ireland has allowed Irish resources to remain undeveloped in order that English trade may flourish, is found in the Government’s treatment of Ireland’s water power.

Not one of the 237 rivers of Ireland has been used for industrial purposes, although in these rivers there is immense industrial power. It is estimated that the rivers Shannon, Corrib, Erne and Bann could produce 100,000 horse-power which would mean a saving of 700,000 tons of coal every year.

The main rivers in Ireland could in many cases be used to work the mineral deposits which lie close to them. The total horse-power which the Irish watercourses are capable of producing is variously estimated but it is established that at least 250,000 horse-power could be developed.

This would mean that Ireland would save 1,750,000 tons of coal every year. But as England supplies the greater quantity of coal burned in this country and exploits it commercially, nothing has ever been done to harness the white coal of Ireland’s rivers. And nothing will ever be done until Ireland can take her own destiny into her own hands.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

A peep at life through an old set of drawers

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

A bit like moving house, an impending change in workplace location seems to bring its own pressures, mostly emotional.  I never realised that poring through old files, pictures, letters, CDs and books could transport the mind and spirit into a place that only seems to have been a day away . . . and yet in cases it’s been 30 years ago.

Most of us probably harbour some degree of a hoarding instinct. Little did I realise that I had stored up documentation about a new tractor model, the layers of the atmosphere, a trip to Italia ’90 or a printed weather forecast from a week in May, 2004.

Here and there on random TV viewing treks, I’ve come across programmes about ‘professional hoarders’ – the people who just cannot rid of anything in their houses.

The result of the fanatical hoarders tends to be pretty catastrophic with barely enough route space to access the rooms in the house. Junk takes up space – an awful lot of space.

And yet, I don’t how many times maybe around the garden shed or the farmyard when I’ve made a decision that a plant, piece of iron or rusty tool is of no use any more, only to curse aloud a few days later when the discarded item is just what I needed to plug some gap or hole.

I’ll invent a word for the practice – ‘hoardaphilia’ – and it’s not the easiest of conditions to shake off, even if strongly armed with a determined initial resolve to end up with a clean sheet in terms of both materials and emotion.

Going through old stuff for the purpose of discarding is in a way a bit like looking back on your life with all its little ups-and-downs . . . the parties, the retirements, the work colleagues we knew for years who are no longer with us.

It works in much the same way as a song or piece of music from the past that transports your mind back into a time and place now long gone from your life.

Years back, I had an old uncle blessed with a photographic memory but as the years rolled by and he slipped into his 80s, we would find it hilarious how he sometimes would miss out completely on a generation. Instead of the son or daughter, he’d actually be meaning the grandfather or grandmother. Over the past week, I kind of tuned into what was happening with him.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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