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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

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.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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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.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Crowds gather for the opening of St Cuan's Secondary School in Castlelakeney on September 4, 1971.

1921

Timber lands

Anticipating an industrial and agricultural development of Ireland in the future, one wonders where our supplies of timber are to come from.

No doubt foreign countries could supply the need, but why not develop our own resources, and make ourselves self-supporting in this respect?

In recent years, the country has practically been denuded of ripe woods, and nothing, on a comprehensible scale, has been done to replace them if we except the small shelter belts that may be seen growing successfully in many districts.

Farmers who have furnished their new homes in this way have taken advantage of the existing forestry scheme of the committee of agriculture, but we understand that owing to the lack of funds it is impossible to launch and adequate scheme. We can picture under more favourable conditions large tracks of waste lands being purchased and planted with trees, which in time will provide a very valuable asset to the country.

The subject is so important that in at least three or four counties a special rate has been struck. We were glad to see that the Galway County Council arranged to discuss the matter during the year, but owing to other pressing subjects, no progress could be made for the present. We look with hope to the reappearing of this subject in the near future, and to seeing much of the waste lands of the country planted in our time.

Election as expected

The elections for the Parliament of “Southern” Ireland have turned out exactly as every intelligent observer in Ireland had anticipated.

There have been no contests. Accordingly, the Republicans have swept all before them without opposition, and out of the 128 seats in “Southern” Ireland, they now hold 124 – the four members for Trinity College being the sole objection.

Yet those who make presence to wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Ireland, were making preparations for the “Southern” Parliament. Nothing has indicated the wide gulf which separates them from the actualities of to-day so much as these elections.

This week-end the contests for the six counties that are to govern by the North-Eastern Parliament, will take place, and it is anticipated that the result will come as a surprise to many, for it will be found that the Ulster of Sir Edward Carson’s brand is by no means the homogenous community the world has long been led to believe it is.

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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