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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Two policemen walk the streets of Ahascragh around 1900.

1916

Infant mortality

It is a melancholy reflection that the death rate amongst infants in Galway bids fair this year to rank next to some of the highest in the statistics of the United Kingdom. Many, far too many, of these infants leave life’s fading space almost before they have found it.

It is not that Galway is an unhealthy city; its death-rate stands amongst the lowest of any town. Nor yet is this mortality brought about by noisesome slums, for, with very few exceptions, the poor of the city live in healthy surroundings.

The causes, we are informed by those who have made a study of the matter, are to be found in (1) incompetent early nursing, and the employment of ‘handy-women’ who ought to be held personally responsible; (2) parental ignorance and neglect; and (3) the fact that no society of ladies takes any real interest in this all-important subject.

If the latter condition were set to rights; if some of the lady social workers of Galway, and we have them in abundance, would but realise that their real domain lies in the underworld, and that their noblest ambition ought to be to succour the poor even at personal sacrifice, the evil of incompetent nursing, which if it does not bring death, may bring disease that accompanies the unfortunate victim through life, would quickly disappear.

Drunkards for life

At the meeting of the Diocesan Temperance Commission, the Lord Bishop of Galway, Dr. O’Dea, read a statement: “Parents or others who induce the young to break their Confirmation Pledge, by claiming the power to dispense on this Pledge, and giving children drink at Christmas or at social gathering, or as medicine, incur a very weighty responsibility before God.

“Such parents may easily be the cause of making their children drunkards for life. What a crime for a parent to commit so lightly against his own child.

“Deeply convinced as we are that poteen is a curse to the parishes in which it is made, we earnestly appeal to Catholic families in those parishes to have nothing to do with the making of it henceforth. Christ our lord gave up more for our sake. This sacrifice will be very pleasing to Him.”

1941

Damage to graves

Mr. B. Keane, Clerk to the Galway and Rahoon Cemeteries Committee, writes as follows: “Permit me space to request the general public to refrain from damaging the graves of people buried in both of the Corporation’s cemeteries.

“This damage usually occurs when large crowds attend funerals in the cemeteries. On these occasions, people attending think it quite proper to ‘stalk’ and rush over the graves of other people, thereby smashing wreaths and crosses.

“People who do this damage quite forget that the graves of the dead are entitled to Christian respect, and they also forget that many people go to a lot of expense to have the graves of their deceased relatives kept in proper order.

“Within the past few weeks, however, what seems to be the deliberate act of a maniac has occurred in Bohermore Cemetery. In this cemetery, wreaths have been deliberately smashed with stones, and the number of wreaths so smashed is large.

“This could not have happened through crowds attending funerals, and despite the careful watching of the caretaker, the wreaths, etc., continue to be smashed by some warped-minded person or persons.”

Water improving

The outlook in regard to the Galway water supply is brightening, but it is not yet considered advisable to sound the “all-clear”. In a letter to the Corporation, Dr. B. O’Beirne, County Medical Officer of health, stated that there was still anxiety among the residents of the city in regards to the condition of the water. He had some samples taken recently which were reported fit for use.

‘No’ to Summer Time

Mr. Boland, Minister for Justice, stated in the Dail to-day that it was not proposed to follow the British example by extending Summer Time in Éire. In Britain, Summer Time is being extended for a further hour from May 3rd to August 9th.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Three boys catching up on their reading at the Galway Races in Ballybrit on July 28, 1988. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1921

Impure milk

Impure and dirty milk supplies do a serious injury to our population. Milk is, perhaps, the most important part of the diet of our infants, who will some day have to take their part in the work of the nation.

It is our duty to see that all forms of disease, which are likely to weaken the race by sapping its vitality, should be vigorously battled with. No form of food is so susceptible to contamination as milk, for it is a natural and complete food substance which is eminently suited to the growth of all kinds of disease germs, especially the dreaded germ which is the cause of consumption.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of our milch cows suffer from tuberculosis. The disease may not be apparent to the eye but can be easily detected by the veterinary surgeon by means of the “tuberculin test”. Milk from these cows often contains germs of the consumption which is causing such havoc and misery in Ireland.

Something must be done by public bodies to insist on the testing of suspected cows, and the frequent sampling and testing of public milk supplies. Educational authorities should urge farmers to take a personal interest in the matter and stamp out disease by keeping cowsheds sanitary and paying strict attention to cleanliness of milking.

It must be brought home to the farmer that it is his duty to produce an article which is acceptable to the public by being pure, of high quality, and free from the germs of infectious disease. It is only by working on these lines that the farmer can hope to gain the confidence of the consumer.

Races weather

Nothing is more necessary to the complete success of the Galway meeting next Wednesday and Thursday than the rainfall which is pretty general all over Ireland at present.

I learn from a reliable source that Galway is getting its quota and that the course is in good condition. This is all necessary to induce owners and trainers to send on horses, and I have no fear that runners will be plentiful on both days.

Writing as a metropolitan, I can safely predict a great attendance – one can only wish he could predict other things so surely. On all sides one hears the questions, “Are you going to Galway? Have you booked your room” and a reference to “the fun of the fair,” otherwise the Bazaar, nearly always follows.

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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A man lies on a bed of nails at the opening of Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Road, on October 26, 1972

1921

Silence is golden

Leaders on both sides have stated that the best assistance the country can give in the making of peace is to keep silence.

During the past week there has been a great deal of speculation, most of it harmless enough, as, for instance, the enterprising American journalist’s “exclusive” on the first meeting of the British Premier and the President of the Irish Republic; much of it positively mischievous, as the case of the efforts of a certain journal, which has grown hoary in the reputation for throwing in the apple of discord, to anticipate failure in advance.

Our American colleague was on surer and on safer ground when he told of how de Valera and Lloyd George met.

“Mr. Lloyd George,” he cabled, “was sitting at his desk when the Irish President entered. For just a minute these two gazed fixedly at one another. Then the British Premier walked across the intervening space and shook de Valera by the hand. He led him to a seat where they sat side by side. The atmosphere was tense. They faced one another. Then Lloyd George reached down for a box of cigars. But the Irish President is of Spartan mould. He neither permits himself to drink nor smoke. He politely but firmly waved the box away. Mr. Lloyd George, however, selected and lighted a Havana, and as the smoke curled upwards the atmosphere became decidedly easier!”

Good planning

The wise and practical man always lays by a store against the time when supplies will be scarce. One of the most serious effects of the prolonged drought is the scarcity of supplies of fodder for cattle-feeding during the coming winter and spring.

The hay crop is not more than half the average yield. The corn crop is far below normal. Turnips in many districts are a partial failure. We have frequently emphasised the importance of growing catch-crops to supplement other feeding stuffs raised on the farm, but it is only under circumstances such as the present that their utility is brought home to farmers. Owing to the early harvest, a larger area than is usual can and should be put down this season. This would make good, to some extent, at least, the shortage of hay and other feeding-stuffs.

The demonstration plots laid down by the County Committee of Agriculture have shown that catch-crops, such as vetches and rye as well as other mixtures, can be successfully grown in all parts of County Galway.

We would urge on farmers the desirability – nay, the necessity – of procuring seed and making early preparation for the sowing of an increased area of catch-crops this season.

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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Published

on

Children dancing at the Clonbur Festival on July 5, 1980. An article in the Tribune at the time detailed how this was the fourth such festival with events covering set dancing, figure dancing, art, fishing and an old-time waltz competition.

1921

Peace at last

Hope “hath happy place” in this land of ours to-day. Those who disappoint it are the enemies not only of Ireland, but of civilisation. Before proceeding to the preliminary conference with Mr. Lloyd George at 10, Downing-street, yesterday afternoon, Mr. de Valera said that he thought the outlook for peace both from the British and Irish points of view was better than it had ever been in history.

The Irish leader would not make this statement unless he had good grounds for it. We may accept it as the confident prediction of one who has proceeded with extreme caution throughout these momentous negotiations.

Yet patient confidence in ultimate justice and patient endurance for a little are needed. There are those who would, if they could, thwart the coming of peace, but they will be borne aside by the widening will to peace, and the larger outlook that the coming of the Truce has brought.

The agony of these days that are past, as we hope for ever, is like a nightmare. Only last week, the pages of the “Tribune” told of the trials and tribulations through which the mothers and sisters of County Galway had gone. The stories related at the Quarter Sessions afforded some index of the hell of ceaseless apprehension and the dread which the women and children have had to bear for many months.

It would seem as if there could be no requital for their sorrows upon this earth. But there is sometimes a balance of justice in human affairs. To-day, as Ireland hopes and prays, this balance is about to be meted out as a common national inheritance.

The Truce has been observed in the spirit of mutual forbearance, good-will and generosity. One can conceive that the horrible conditions of the past nine months will ever be recalled. Indeed, there is no person who would desire or contrive at such an eventuality. Its very contemplation makes us fearful of the outcome of these fateful conferences.

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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