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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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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

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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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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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