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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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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.

 

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.

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

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

Published

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.

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

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Lining the beach to watch the Currach Races in an Spidéal on June 17, 1973.

1920

War extends to finance

The battle between Ireland and England has extended to finance. We have seen this week the results that are bound to follow the stoppage of grants to the Local Taxation Account in the case of Dublin Corporation.

Local boards throughout over three-fourths of Ireland have replied by refusing to pay further interest or principal on loans. Indeed, the power to control local bodies has altogether passed out of the hands of British Boards in Ireland, as intelligent observers believe forever.

The three hundred and odd officials of the Local Government Board at the Custom House no longer serve any useful purpose in Ireland. Their auditors are not now recognised.

Rates are no longer lodged in the banks, where they would be liable to seizure in certain circumstances; they are held in trust for the various boards. Of the five millions advanced under the Labourers’ (Ireland) Acts for the building of cottages, only three millions have been repaid.

As two millions remain due under this head alone, it is obvious that local boards hold a strong trump card. People are already speculating what is to happen in connection with the annuities under the Land Purchase Acts. The keenest intellects of Sinn Féin have anticipated and provided for every stage in the revolution through which we are passing.

As long as the British Government remains unable to substitute statesmanship for force, Sinn Féin can win over three-fourths of Ireland by passive resistance alone.

Raid on rail stores

Early on Tuesday morning about five tons of hay in bales, which was lying at Galway Railway Station store, awaiting delivery to the Dragoon Guards at Earl’s Island, was taken outside y a number of men and burned.

A railway official named Graham was locked in an adjoining building whilst the raid was in progress. The fire was discovered shortly before 3 a.m. by an urban council watchman, who notified the town steward, but nothing could be done to save any of the hay.

Hay in the railway wagons near the store apparently escaped unnoticed by the raiders, and was carted away by the military on Tuesday. A quantity of barbed wire belonging to the military has also been removed from the station and no trace of it has been found.

The railway station is within sight of the Renmore military barracks which is situated about a quarter of a mile way. Each bale contained one cwt. the precaution of removing the hay from the store was evidently to prevent the risk of any part of the building taking fire.

The hay was evidently sprinkled with paraffin or petrol before being set fire to. Some of the barbed wire was found in a field at the back of the railway station.

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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