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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

St Nicholas' Collegiate Church taken in the early 1900s. While the building remains unchanged today, the area that surrounds it has changed dramatically. The absense of the large tree that now fills the foreground of the church is also notable.

1920

A shoneen town

Strong comments on the apathy of Galway to the Gaelic revival movement were made by the Rev. M. Griffin, C.C., St. Joseph’s, at a meeting of the Galway branch of the Gaelic League in the Town Hall on Friday night.

The principal business at the meeting was in connection with the securing of sufficient funds to repair the premises in Market-st., recently acquired by the branch at a cost of £175, for the purpose of turning them into a suitable hall.

Father Griffin, who presided, said it would cost £600 to repair the place thoroughly. They had got the house at a cheap price, and they had been offered £300 for it, but they were not going to sell it.

They wanted to make a decent Gaelic League hall of it, and they were now going to put it up to the people of Galway and ask them would they subscribe for that purpose.

They expected that everyone interested in the Gaelic movement would help them to get that £600. Those who had money should subscribe, and those who had not money should work towards getting some for them.

When they had the hall fixed up, they would hold classes for teaching the language, and ceilidhthe. The big thing was to get the money.

“If we were getting up some Shoneen hall,” continued Father Griffin, “we would get the money easily for it, and our won people would support it, but when you go around collecting for the Gaelic League, if you do not get a slap in the face, you will get something as bad. It is common for some people who talk a lot to do nothing. There is none of that kind with us to-night, thank God, but the likes of them are in it, rather big men who at present are supposed to be favourable to the Irish movement but who do nothing for it and who give it no support. We will put it up those people now.”

Strive for peace

Galway lies this week under the shadow of an appalling and unparalleled tragedy. We are surfeited with stories of horror from all parts of Ireland. They come daily, and sometimes they come in clusters.

But none of them has touched us so nearly as the tragedy at our own doors. Twenty-four hours ago Galway was one of the most peaceable cities in the world. All classes lived in amity and friendship. From Midnight to dawn on Thursday morning all was changed.

The incident at the railway station which resulted in the death of a young citizen and an English policeman was the prelude to a night of horrors before which all decent men must stand appalled.

We have no wish to pile on the agony. We do not think anything can be gained by this. A naked recital of the facts is bad enough in all conscience. In the face of them, every calming influence must come into play, every person who can appeal to men’s hearts and consciences must exercise his or her influence in the direction of peace.

Peace! What a hollow mockery there is in the sound? Yet surely the night of Ireland’s sorrow must lift ere long; and it is the duty of all men with human hearts who claim to guide their actions by justice to hasten the dawn.

At the moment extremists on both sides strive desperately for the mastery over the torn and bleeding body of a distracted land. A powerful Empire looks on cynically, whilst it stifles every effort at statesmanship, bars every road to peace, and relies more and more on naked militarism.

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.

 

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.

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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

Crowds flock to the beach in Salthill on a summer's day in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

1920

Startling experience

Miss Eileen Baker, Baker’s Hotel, Eyre-st., Galway, had a startling experience on Saturday morning, her hair being cut by masked men who entered the hotel directly as she had opened the door to admit the postman.

Miss Baker is 22 years of age, and her father, who lives in the hotel, served as a captain during the war. She recently saved a little boy named Hennessy from drowning in the canal, and gave evidence at the military inquiry touching the death of Constable Krumm, who had stayed at the hotel.

She was much shaken when interviewed on Saturday morning. “I came down about half-past seven this morning,” she said. “The first thing I did was to open the door to admit the postman. He had just got to the opposite side of the street on the footpath and I had turned by back when the doors were flung open. I heard the bang as I turned around. Six tall men came in. they wore black cloths all over their heads and faces. One man walked up to me with a revolver. I thought at first they wanted to go up the stars to the police who were staying with us. Instead, another man pulled me into the middle of the hail, and the other held the revolver to me, whilst the man behind cut my plait.

“I had my hair in plaits at the time near the head. I was too terrified to cry out, and there was no one about but myself. They cut the plait with a single clip. The whole thing came on me suddenly, and was over in five minutes. They said very little, but they searched all the police coats and capes before they walked out. They said before they left that they would be back again. The man with the revolver had a razor, as if they intended to shave my head. I stooped down to pick up my hair after they had left, and was in a state of collapse in the middle of the hall when my little sister, who was going to school, came down and found me.”

Shots in Roundstone

On the eves of the 19th and 20th inst. Considerable excitement was caused in Roundstone by the conduct of two policemen who fired shots into houses in the village, but fortunately nobody was injured.

No disrespect was ever shown to the police in the village. In justice to the officer in charge of the marines at Roundstone, it must be admitted that he showed his disapproval of the police conduct in a practical manner by having them arrested, and reporting them to their superior officers.

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

Demolition work gets underway at 15 Market Street, the home of the Connacht Tribune. In August 1969, work began to overhaul the newspaper's offices and printworks, some 60 years after the Tribune was first published in 1909.

1920

Waking up at last

British Liberalism is at last beginning to wake up to the ghastly failure of English Government in Ireland. Some of its newspapers, notably “The Manchester Guardian”, “The Daily News”, and “The Westminster Gazette” are expressing horror at the deeds that are being done in Ireland in the name of the English People.

We fear that the awakening has come six years late. During the intervening period these organs of opinion have been free to tell the story of a little nation’s travail, to indicate the inevitable tragedy towards which we were drifting, to sound without ceasing the voice of warning.

Mr. George Bernard Shaw has said that you must scream into the ears of an Englishman before he will listen even to the things that concern himself.

In the British Parliament or out of it there were no outstanding figures to reveal the naked truth, and where the truth was told in part, there were few hearts prepared to listen. Moderate Irishmen who wished to secure peace found themselves driven from despair to despair.

Their voice, and the voice of Irish journalists who sought to assist them to find a way to peace, was ignored by a degenerate Ministry, and lost amidst the rumbling militarism in Ireland.

War rumbles on

“Every day brings news of fresh outbreaks, with incendiarism, shootings, and all manner of violence, by the troops in Ireland,” says the “Manchester Guardian” news bulletin.

“It is flat mutiny, whatever the provocation, and so far it has nether been restrained, nor, as far as is known, punished. It is a complete defiance alike of civil and military authority, and amounts in effect to the waging of war on the Irish people. If neither the army chief nor the civil administration can restrain it they proclaim themselves impotent in the face of their own forces, and have virtually abnegated the authority entrusted to them.

“To talk of ‘restoring law and order’ in the presence of facts like these is to trifle with words. There is no effective law and there can be no pretence of order if British troops are permitted to run amok in this way among the inhabitants of a whole town as happened on Wednesday in Galway, or of a village, as happened lately in Tullow.

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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