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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Children play on the frozen flood water between Grattan Road and Beach Court on January 1, 1979. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1921

Shots exchanged

A telegram from our North Galway representative yesterday stated: –

A report reached Tuam last night that Sergeant Beglan and Constable McGuire, of Castlegrove temporary police station, were fired at when on patrol duty at about eight p.m., and returned the fire.

Some men with revolvers appeared on top of a ditch and called on the police to halt. Shots were discharged. The police returned the fire, and after a short exchanged, the attacking party withdrew.

The fire on either side does not appear to have taken any affect.

Our reporter telegraphed later: –

It is stated that the police were fired at near Castlegrove as they were going to a shop for provisions. They were in the act of crossing a stile when the shots went off.

Rifle cartridges were subsequently found at the site of the ambush. One of the police stood and had a narrow escape, whilst the other threw himself on the ground.

Seeking compensation

Messrs. Grossman and Co., Belfast, applied for £40 compensation for injury to a motor car at Loughrea on October 27, 1920. – Francis Rock, Belfast applied for £10 compensation for injury to an overcoat on the same occasion.

Dr. Comyn, who appeared for the applicant, said this was a most peculiar case. This gentleman, Mr. Francis Rock, was a commercial traveller who lived in Belfast. He travelled for jewellery for the other applicant, Messrs. Grossman and Co.

On the evening of October 27, this gentleman was in Loughrea in the ordinary course of his duty for Messrs. Grossman and Co., who supplied him with a motor for the purpose of carrying on his business. He had what was known as a hooded Ford car for carrying his wares behind, and on the date in question he left the Railway Hotel at Loughrea and proceeded up the Main-st. in the direction of the West Bridge.

There was a party of uniformed policemen – none of them local police – travelling in two lorries some distance in front of Mr. Rock’s car. The police pulled up near the West Bridge and started firing down the main street. Mr. Rock, seeing them fire down the street, tried to turn his car around quickly when a bullet passed through his overcoat.

There were several bullets put into the hood of the motor, rendering it quite useless, and a new hood would now be required.

“It was only fair to state,” Dr. Comyn proceeded, “that there would be a good deal more damage done that evening were it not for the plucky action of the District-inspector Keohane and the Loughrea police who, at the risk of their own lives, walked up against the firing party and ordered them out of the town – for which the people of Loughrea were extremely grateful.”

His Honour, having heard the evidence of the applicant, awarded £20 compensation, adding that this was a case in which he was judicially satisfied that the damage was not caused by civilians, and he would accordingly bring the mater under the notice of the Crown authorities.

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 only road hazard Eileen O'Donoghue and Bridget Ann Walsh met while competing in the first Connemara Marathon in the Inagh Valley in 2002. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1921

Peace moves
It is now no secret that Mr. Eamonn de Valera is in Dublin (says the “Freeman’s Journal” of yesterday), and it is evidently admitted by the Irish Office in London. There have been rumours that an official pronouncement would shortly be made by the leader of Sinn Féin.
The “Freeman’s Journal”, through a series of circumstances, claims to be able to give its readers and exclusive forecast of the statements which will probably be contained in this pronouncement.
In view of the suggestions of a peace move by the leaders of Sinn Féin, which have been appearing in the English Press, the statement of policy attributed to Mr. de Valera will give little encouragement to the hope of Irishmen who have been looking for a constitutional settlement in the near future.
Mr. de Valera maintains that any peace move must have for its basis the recognition by the English Government that Ireland is an independent nation on an equal footing. When the representatives of the English nation are prepared to meet the representatives of the Irish nation on an equal national footing peace talks will be possible.
Some surprise has been expressed that Mr. de Valera should have left America just when his new organisation, which has broken away from Friends of Irish Freedom, was in its infancy.
Mr. de Valera’s reply to this is that in view of the pressure of the Government upon Ireland at present, it was only natural that he should return to take up the burden of his office.
With the arrest of Mr. Arthur Griffith and Professor Eoin MacNeill, it is said that Mr. de Valera is being searched for most assiduously by the forces of the Crown, and that there is evidence that they are most anxious to place him under arrest.
We are informed that Mr. de Valera has been in communication with many of the more prominent heads of the Sinn Féin Party, who have reported to him the general situation throughout the country.

New caretakers
A number of unemployed ex-servicemen in Galway – between forty and sixty, it is reported – have accepted positions as camp and store caretakers and guards for the auxiliary division of the R.I.C.
A dozen attendants at Ballinasloe Asylum, who have not received any wages for some time owing to the straitened financial circumstances of that institution, are also reported to have joined “the new police force.”

 

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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

A well-minded doll gets the full attention of two girls in Galway City on October 1, 1984. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1921

A welcome return

The railwaymen of Ireland have given the Irish people the New Year gift of a restored railway service. It now rests with the directors to do their part by restoring normal service with the least possible delay, and making a genuine effort to aid in an economic revival throughout the country.

The decision of the railwaymen to return to work was by no means so simple as some would have us believe; for it entailed on their part a complete reversal of a policy undertaken with the assent and support of a considerable section of their countrymen, and the circumstances of the time made such reversal difficult.

Nevertheless, when the railwaymen found that their policy was only resulting in serious injury to Irish trade and commercial interests, they had the strength of character to recognise its weakness, and to take steps to restore normal working conditions. In this they showed courage and wisdom, and revealed the truth of the statement that when democracy perceives its responsibilities, it is always ready to carry them out. It may make mistakes for a time, but it comes right in the end.

In the circumstances, it is discouraging in the extreme to learn that a hitch has occurred in the carrying out of the agreement come to as between the men and the Midland Great Western Railway. One would have thought that the Midland directors would put forward every effort to make up for lost time, and this appears to be the policy pursued by other companies.

But the Midland has not yet composed the trouble with its boilermakers, and the general manager states that until they have work for the men to do, they cannot undertake to provide all those who were suspended with employment. The matter has been referred by the National Union of Railwaymen to the Ministry of Transport, and we trust a satisfactory settlement will be arrived at without undue delay.

Behind bars

Locked behind prison bars, placed in surroundings that are sombre and monotonous in the extreme, debarred from beholding any of the beautiful works of the Creator except “that little tint of blue that prisoners call the sky,” cut away from everything that tends to brighten and enliven the festive season to Christmas, it was well night impossible for Irishmen interned in the various places of confinement throughout the country to enjoy the festival to any degree.

Still, it would appear that matters were by no means as dull or as morose as the situation would suggest. Many persons, irrespective of politics, sent numerous parcels suitable to the occasion to the prisoners in Galway, and did their upmost to brighten the lot of the captives.

Friends and relatives also sent fowl in abundance, and it is stated that as a result of unbounded generosity, the prisoners have a supply of food to take them over another week.

On the whole, it is stated that the prisoners enjoyed the occasion as well as, if not better than could be expected under the circumstances.

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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