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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

The cocktail bar at Ballybrit draws the crowd at the Galway Races 1965.

1920

Terror in Tuam

As a police van was proceeding to Dunmore from Galway Assizes on Monday evening, with four armed constables, it was ambushed at Gallagh, three miles beyond Tuam, and two of the occupants – Constables Burke and Carey – were shot dead.

All was peaceable until five o’clock on Tuesday morning, when the sleeping inhabitants of the town were startled by volleys of musketry fire.

At first only a few shots were fired; then the fusillade became terrific, and it was accompanied by explosions, as if bombs and hand grenades were being hurled. It soon became evident that the firing was general throughout the town.

Children and women screamed, and all sought shelter in the rear of their premises, where they lay flat on the ground.

Subsequently, cheers broke out, and the Town Hall was found to be in flames. Apparently the cheering was the signal for the congregation. Soon after the outbreak the military who are stationed in Tuam came upon the scene, but were immediately afterwards withdrawn.

Mr. Quinn, a well-known solicitor, who witnessed the thrilling scene from the midst of two houses which were in flames, declared on Tuesday morning that he distinctly heard the officer calling off his men, and shouting “this is not our job,” the inference being that the military did not wish to be associated with the outbreak.

About six o’clock the orgy of outrage ceased, and the townsmen who ventured abroad found many houses in flames.

No harm in variety

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Barna (Galway) Feis which was held on last Sunday, was the large numbers who attended it. Rarely has such a fine gathering been seen at a similar function in a comparatively small village like Barna.

The competitions, too, were successful, but it would have been no harm if a little more variety had been introduced. The school children were very good, but one felt that something was wanting to make the whole thing more interesting; there was a lack of colour and variety in a programme that was followed attentively.

Singing and dancing constituted the entire programme. There were songs by school-children, by young people, and by adults, and there was dancing by the school-children. The dancing did not come up to the mark, and no first or second prize was awarded.

Some of the singing reached a fairly high standard, and “voice” could be detected.

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

The Eucharistic Procession arriving at Eyre Square on June 20, 1965.

1920

War deepens

A band hall at Maree, Oranmore, and a vacant house at Gurraun were burned down last Friday night. Details of a raid at the house of a farmer named Devaney, of Ballinacloughy, Maree, were given by his son Thomas, who with his brothers, Stephen and Pat, were admitted to the Galway County hospital on Monday suffering from gunshot wounds. Pat was discharged the same evening.

“It would be about 1.30 (old time) on Saturday morning last,” said Thomas, “when we heard knocking at the front and back doors, and a shout, ‘Get up’. My sisters, Norah and Anne, opened the door. They were going to get a light but the raiders stopped them. The raiders had a flash lamp. They went into the room to my father, and brought him down to the kitchen and made him put up his hands.

“They then came into the room where I and my three brothers, Stephen, Pat and Eddie, were in bed. They caught me by the shoulder and pulled me out first, and then they took Stephen and Pat out. They brought us out on the road and put the three of us down on our knees and told us to pray. They let us up and told us to pray again and they fired shots over our heads. Then we got the order to march and they made us walk about sixteen yards. They put the three of us in a line across the road. They then fired two gunshots at us from distance of sixteen yards. Stephen and I were hit in the legs.

“There were 84 pellets in one of my legs and 60 in the other. Pat got a pellet in the stomach, one in the chest, and one in the arm. After they had fired the two shots they told us to go into the house. We were hardly able to walk, and we told them we were shot. One of them said, ‘What about another round’? We went in the house and they went away.

Bidding for peace

We understand that Mr. Lloyd George was to have received the committee of the Irish Peace Conference in Downing Street yesterday (Thursday) and that certain proposals for the establishment of a truce and a subsequent settlement were to have been put to him.

The speeches of the Prime Minister in North Wales, which we report in this issue, do not seem to suggest that he is preparing the way for a settlement. Yet there can be no doubt that the vast majority of the English people desire peace with the sister isle, and Ireland for her part wants nothing so much to-day as tranquillity and ordered government.

In the face of these realities, the plain man can be forgiven if he fails to understand why a condition of things is permitted to continue in Ireland which is a disgrace to civilisation.

The explanation is to be found not in the conditions that exist so much as in the malignant policy that brought them about. Until that is reversed, we fear there is little hope of permanent peace or security.

Mr. Asquith has made a bold bid for tis reversal, but we cannot forget that when he was in power, he originated and gave official sanction to the mischievous policy of partisanship for North-East Ulster.

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

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on

Crowds flock to the 'Sale' at O’Connor's TV Video and Hi-fi on Shop Street on July 20, 1992. River Island is now based in the building.

1920

City raids

For the third time the premises of Mr. P. Moylett, grocery and general wholesale and retail warehouse, at Williamsgate-st., Galway, were entered during Curfew hours on Saturday night.

A safe was burst open apparently with some high explosive which made a large hole in the ceiling overhead. It is alleged that a sum of over £160 was taken from it. Glass cases were broken.

A case inside the door containing Abdulla and other cigarettes, perfumes, etc., was completely rifled. A quantity of American twigs, groceries, jellies, and other articles are missing. It is reported that the premises were again visited on Sunday night, and further damage done.

Entry was gained by smashing through the windows which are now protected by galvanized iron. Mr. Moylett had entered a claim for compensation for a previous attack on his shop.

Bicycles belonging to Mr. Moylett and his accountant (Miss Gavin) are reported to be missing after the raids. One of the assistants at the shop informed our representative on Monday morning that Mr. Moylett had left the town, as he had received notice to clear out immediately. The police say they have no knowledge of this.

District-inspectors Sugrue and Williams with a number of police visited the scene of the wreckage on Sunday, and took away a list of missing articles.

Fleeing for safety

Mr. John Steel, telegraphing from London to the “Chicago Tribune” (Paris edition) says: “Whether Ireland will be governed in the near future by the orderly processes of law and the Anglo-Irish question settled by peaceable negotiations or whether Ireland will continue to be ruled by assassination and by burning and looting of towns, will be decided in the next few days.

“The decision will depend not upon an agreement between the Irish and the English, but upon the outcome of the present struggle between the military and civil authorities of the British Government in Ireland. Only a great struggle succeeded in inducing the military chiefs to sign orders to end the reprisals.”

In a despatch to the “Chicago Tribune” (Paris edition), a correspondent telegraphing from Dublin and quoted by the “Irish Independent” says: “I spent this last Sunday afternoon in the company of three refugees from Galway. Two of them were professors in Galway University, and the other a leading lawyer. All three believe that the ‘Black and Tan’ police are seeking their lives and this is why they left their native town. Whether this is true or not, it is a fact that the home of the Galway public solicitor was recently bombed twice and wrecked.”

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 gathered at Blackrock for An Tostál currach racing in 1955. In the currach are, from left: John Bhaibín Seoige, Máirtin Chólín Seoige and John William Seoige of Inis Bearacháin.

1920

Ardrahan’s agony

In the early hours of Sunday morning men who, it is alleged, described themselves as “Black and Tans”, committed much destruction in Ardrahan and the surrounding villages, ill-treated some of the inhabitants, and threw the people into a state of panic and terror.

The little village of Ardrahan had long been noted as one of the most peaceable and law-abiding in the county. The attack is supposed to have been in reprisal for the ambush on the preceding Thursday.

The following is a list of the principal places destroyed:

Pk. Joyces, Ardrahan, dwelling-house and furniture totally burned;

Ml. Burke, Ballinaguive, dwelling-house and belongings, totally burned;

John Higgins, Ardrahan, haggard burned;

St. Teresa’s Parochial Hall, Labane, burned to the ground. Only the walls remain.

It would appear that on Thursday last a party of five police was proceeding to Drumharsna Castle, for the purpose of protecting a man named MacKey, who for a number of years has been in charge of the property of Lord Ashtown.

The police are said to have opened fire upon the ambushing party, which thereupon fled, leaving two revolvers and a shot-gun after them. None of the patrol appears to have been wounded.

The events of Sunday morning may be summarised as follows: At about a quarter to one a.m. (new time) four motor lorries arrived at Ardrahan. Almost immediately the men, who were armed, some of them being disguised and wearing trench coats and soft hats, rushed at the licenced premises of Mrs. James Joyce, smashed in the door with a sledge, and rushed upstairs.

Accosting John Joyce, son of Mrs. Joyce, they pointed a revolver at him and threatened him. Mrs. Joyce and her two daughters came out of their rooms, and Mrs. Joyce asked the men what they wanted. Then, it is alleged, a voice from outside shouted: “That is not the house,” and the raiders retreated.

They thereupon went to the house of Patrick Joyce, a smith, who lived a couple of doors away, and asked for John Joyce (Patrick Joyce’s son). The father said he did not know where he was.

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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