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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Participants in the Eucharistic Procession pass through Eyre Square on June 20, 1965.

1920

Unparalleled turmoil

Even the long and tear-stained history of Ireland can find no parallel for the terrible happenings of the present week. Nearly forty people have come to violent and sudden deaths.

Sunday’s tragedies in the Irish capital and the sequel at Croke Park might well drive men who hope for, and long for, peace to utter despair. But courage is the quality that is required to-day, not despair – moral courage to point the path to peace and just dealing between man and man.

We live in the twentieth century of civilisation – though the surge of horrors that surround us might make it difficult to realise that fact – and God is in heaven. His Commandments still hold, though some of his people may forget them for a time. It is the duty of all men in authority to recall them so that the terrible passions of our time may subside and that a Godly peace may once more be promoted in our midst.

The tragedy of Father Griffin’s death stuck us more nearly than anything that has happened even in these days of horror. He was God’s anointed, the servant of the Prince of Peace. By the tradition and practice that governs all Christian peoples, he should stand as a man apart from the vengeful passions of the multitude.

During the recent riots in Londonderry, the one fact that lit up a sordid picture with a flame of light was that the violent mobs on both sides held their fire whilst the priests crept out from the side of the streets to succour the wounded, to console the dying.

And Fr. Griffin dwelt amongst us for two years. The little children of our streets knew him, and in many respects he was like unto one of these. All life lay before him in the most sacred, if not most responsible calling, that man can enter.

This was the man of whom the ghastliest story since the days of Cromwell has to be told. All who have hearts have been touched, all who have tears have shed them by his bier.

The funeral

Amidst scenes of most profound public sympathy and inspiring devotional expressiveness the remains of the late Rev. Michael Griffin were solemnly laid to rest beneath the shadow of the eastern wing of the Cathedral in Loughrea on Wednesday.

That feeling most intense has been aroused all over the county by the shocking tragedy was painfully in evidence. Nothing that has ever happened in the county in modern times has wounded the public conscience in such a way.

Popular to a degree, the deceased young priest was a man of much promise, full of personal charm and affability. The events of Wednesday will live long in the history of his native diocese. The position of his last resting place is one which must always attract the notice of the visitor.

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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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Michael Smyth, turning the first sod of the new £86,000 community centre at Shantalla on August 6, 1971

1921

Treatment of women

At the meeting of the Galway Board of Guardians on Wednesday, Mr. Pk. Thornton in the chair, a discussion took place regarding the admission of women with illegitimate children.

Mr. Cooke said that it was one of those questions which the Dáil Éireann was trying to solve. The assistant clerk said that Galway was only a small place in comparison to other places.

A member said that these people were coming in month after month, and it was perfectly scandalous.

Mrs. Young said that the practice should be stopped as in England. The assistant clerk said that they had laws of their own in England in regard to this matter. Mrs. Young said that it was a matter that the guardians should go into.

Clerk: So these women assist in washing and scrubbing, Mr. O’Toole?

Master: Yes, they do.

Mrs. Young: Until you tackle the thing, you can never make much headway. The nuns were terrified by some of them who absolutely refused to work.

Mr. Cooke: They should be cleared out.

Chairman: It is not fair for any able-bodied woman to be in the workhouse at the ratepayers’ expense.

The clerk said that this question was one of the most difficult which had confronted Dáil Éireann, and they were looking the matter up.

Profiteering black spot

Galway is the blackest spot in Ireland for profiteering. It is maintaining its inglorious record in extortion – a record that all but killed the race meeting some years ago and diverted the stream of visitors from the town for nearly a decade.

If this flagrant profiteering continues, it will have the result of reducing the city ultimately to poverty, whilst the few grow rich. The economic balance must be maintained. Elsewhere desperate efforts are being made to maintain it.

Prices must come back. Labour in Galway has done absolutely nothing to bring them back, because Labour in Galway appears to be less intelligently led than elsewhere. Yet unemployment is rife amongst us, poverty is already knocking consistently at the door of not a few, wages are falling and must fall.

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

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President Eamon de Valera speaking at the opening of Coláiste Lurgan, Knock, Indreabhán, on August 4, 1968.

1921

Life in internment

A Gort man at Ballykinlar sends to the West and interesting account of the conditions in the internment camp, where so many men from our country are at present held prisoner without charge every having been preferred against them, without trial or conviction.

There are some disturbing features in his report, the cause of which might well be removed at this period when the Truce is being so well observed, when peace is in the air. For instance, he begins by the complaint that whilst the English papers are freely delivered, there is difficulty in getting their own papers.

“The camp,” he goes on, “is an improvement on the Earl’s Island death trap or the Town Hall poison den. There is a greater sense of security here than in either of those places. The food is inadequate, and doubtful of quality, as you may have seen by the Press. The men here have to put up a great fight against the ennui, which anyone acquainted with internment has experienced. Physical development classes and outdoor sports, football, handball and hurling, have kept their devotees fit and energetic, but the vitality is slowly and surely ebbing away.

“Exercises are being less violently participated in, brisk walks are being less frequently indulged in, and a general apathy and listlessness, hardly observable as yet, is, nevertheless, gradually setting in.

“The education board, which owes a lot to Mr. O’Connell, Duniry, to whom all students are deeply indebted, has been instrumental in endowing many of the boys with a liberal increase to their attainments (a description of the work would require a great deal of space), and has provided a much-needed antidote to the deterioration of the mind, which is so invariably associated with internment. The study of Gaelic has pride of place in the curriculum, and many students have made great headway. It is not unusual to find half-a-dozen in a hut almost at any hour carrying on a laboured conversation in Irish or debating some of the finer points in grammar. I believe one f the boys (none of them had a word of Irish coming in) passed for a fáinne at the recent examination.

“Hobbies in arts and crafts have an enormous sway, and a surprising amount of latent talent has been discovered and developed. Silver rings, chased, engraved and inset, have been made from silver coins, that, placed beside the finished works at Faller’s or Dillon’s, would not cause the designs to blush! Bones, more plentiful than meat at the cookhouse, have been manufactured into brooches of beautiful and distinctive design, which, I am sure, will be seen gracing the fair necks of favoured colleens later on.”

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.

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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

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Some of the participants in the Kinvara Fancy Dress on June 11, 1967.

1921

Outdated laws

Ireland obtained her workhouses from the famine. They were erected to ameliorate a condition of things brought about by an alien government – a condition which historians unite in declaring could have been avoided.

On the 25th March, 1846, Tuam, Castlerea, Cahirciveen, and Clifden workhouses were opened, and a rate was struck on the Clifden union. The Tuam workhouse was contracted for July, 1840, at a cost of £7,600 for building and completion and £1,400 for fittings and contingencies.

It was made to accommodate 800 persons but in 1851 it housed no fewer than 2,881 paupers. Sheds had to be extemporised to afford a roof to those who had been stricken by the famine, and scenes of horror were enacted there during the period of the Black Death.

The workhouses also are a landmark of the fact that in these famine years Ireland’s population was reduced practically by half, and that so impoverished had the country become that it was unable any longer to maintain even the 4½ millions left without workhouses.

At present, on the eve of happier times, an effort is being made to reduce public expenditure and divert public monies into more profitable channels by amalgamating existing unions, and thus reducing their number.

Some have claimed that this is a question upon which the ratepayers ought to have been consulted and that in any drastic scheme of reform they should have a voice. None will dispute however that reform is absolutely necessary, and the sooner it comes the better.

The poor, no doubt, we shall always have with us, but when employment is revived throughout Ireland, and wages and the cost of living are reduced, we feel convinced that pauperism in this country will largely disappear and that public monies can thenceforth be utilised much more profitably than in maintaining an army of officials.

The neighbouring county of Mayo has drawn up an elaborate scheme of union amalgamation which the secretary of the county council has courteously forwarded to us. We hope to deal with this scheme fuller in our next issue.

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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