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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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The Children's Book Fair in St Patrick’s Primary School Hall, Lombard Street, in the 1970s.

1921

Demanding better

There is a general demand all along the system of the Midland Great Western Railway Company for a better service of trains. We sincerely hope the directors will do more to meet that demand than the alteration in the time of departure of the afternoon mail train from Galway which came into operation on Monday last.

Whilst that alteration was welcome in that it revealed a desire to meet public criticism, it does little or nothing to remove the grievances that bear so heavily upon the travelling public.

The main line from Galway to Broadstone is still two trains short per day. In the circumstances of time, it may not be feasible to restore immediately the pre-war train service; but steps should be taken in the public interest to put on one additional passenger train at the earliest moment, and to enable western businessmen to clear their evening posts. It would be nothing short of a public scandal if a public carrying and transport company were to take advantage of the conditions of the time to enter upon a policy of reaction, and to deprive the people of amenities that they had hitherto freely enjoyed.

The argument that the amount of custom drawn from the western counties does not justify a full service of trains must have applied before the war as well as to-day.

Death toll rises

Tragedy, grim and terrible, followed swiftly upon the heels of the Headford ambush. In addition to the shooting of Thomas Collins of Keelkill, which occurred on Tuesday, the 18 inst., the day of the ambush, three men in the districts surrounding Headford were shot dead on Saturday last.

An official telegram reached Dublin Castle on Sunday stating that on Satruday, three men named Michael Hoade, Caherlistrane; John Kirwan, Ballinastack; and William Walsh, of headford, were shot dead while attempting to evade arrest.

Writing on Sunday, our North Galway correspondent have harrowing details of the events of Saturday. In many districts around Tuam (he stated) scenes of awful terrorism broke out on Saturday morning. Several lorries full of armed men went through the country, and people going to Tuam market had to endure the ordeal of indiscriminate rifle firing over their heads.

Details of the shocking occurrences to hand are meagre, but the following tragic happenings are reported:

William Walsh, Clydagh, Headford, was taken out from his breakfast table and found shot dead.

Michl. Hoade, shopkeeper, Caherlistrane, who was also shot dead, resided with a sister, who ran upstairs on seeing the armed party going to the house. Her brother was taken out and brought back a corpse.

Jim Kirwan (26), Ballinastack, was unloading a cart of manure when an armed party went to his house. It is alleged that they ill-treated another brother inside the house and asked the father where is other son was. He told them he was outside in the field.

The armed men went out, and Kirwan was fired at and mortally wounded. Poor Kirwan died shortly afterwards. The horse was also killed. The party went back into the house and told the father his son was shot outside.

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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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.

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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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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

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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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Prizewinners Christina McCormac and Maria Walsh, both from Caltra, at the Ballygar Fancy Dress in August 1970.

1921

Emigration rising

The emigration statistics just published show that during 1920 emigrants from Ireland numbered 15,585, compared with 2,975 in 1918 – in other words, emigration last year had risen to about half of what it was in the years before the war.

6,044 men and 9,487 women left Ireland during 1920. But it was pointed out that unlike Great Britain there is no excess of women in this country.

In June 1920, it was estimated that the Irish population was 2,261,000 males and 2,209,999 females, a total of 4,4470,999, or an increase of 86,392 on the census year of 1911. The overwhelming majority of emigrants last year went to the United States.

Connacht supplied 3,801 of those who emigrated, but the greatest number of emigrants came from the county of Antrim, which, including the county borough of Belfast, contributed 1,893 people to swell the population and work for the prosperity of foreign countries.

Let us all sincerely hope that in the new Ireland that is to be, many of those who have been compelled to leave their country will be enabled to return and find bread and work at home.

Irish lessons

Irish Irelanders will be interested on hearing that the Irish classes are now being opened in Galway. Irish classes are being conducted from 11 to 2 p.m. at the Commercial Boat Club, and night classes form 8 to 10 p.m. in the Town Hall.

There is no necessity to impress on the young men and young women of Galway the desirability of their attending these classes. It has been said with truth that if we have no language, we have no country, and during the present “big push” for our freedom it behoves all those who are not acquainted with the language of our country to do their utmost to learn it.

A ceilidh mór will be held in the Town Hall on Saturday, August 20, and it is hoped that the attendance will be large. Irish dances are the real “thing”, but it is unfortunate that they are not as popular as they should be.

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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