Galway In Days Gone By

Some of the cast of a production of The Sound of Music in Loughrea in November 1970.
Some of the cast of a production of The Sound of Music in Loughrea in November 1970.


Days of Terror

For the country folk, cut off from all communications, these were days and nights of terror during the Rising. The Red Flag of Rumour was waved from hill to hill, and at a time when Casement had been captured and the old Russian rifles and machine guns that Germany thought good enough to send over were at the bottom of the sea, they were told that ten thousand Germans had landed on the Connemara coast and were marching through Galway!

Abandoning all work, they gathered in small groups and talked in cautious phrases, or kept to their houses. Was the war, of whose horrors they had been reading, about to sweep over their fair fields?

Bishop’s warning

The Most Rev. Dr. Higgins, Auxiliary Bishop, made his triennial visitation to Glenamaddy on Monday. His Lordship expressed satisfaction at the presence of the large congregation to show their Catholic faith and devotion.

They had also passed through a terrible time owing to the Rising in Dublin. God alone knew the extent of those days of unrest there are in other parts of the country.

Let them think of the insanity and utter madness of any body of men, comparatively only a handful as there were, rising up against the English Army, which amounted to five millions of men.

They had in County Galway, at Athenry, a miserable attempt at a rising. He happened to be there and saw it. Some of them, fortunately – though they might be called cowards – had the good sense to run home as fast as they could when they heard of the coming of the soldiers.

The Church condemned secret societies and wished her children to remain out of them. Unfortunately, some of them laughed, even scoffed at the teachings of the Church, hence, unfortunately for themselves, they had to pay the penalty and the country would also have to pay the penalty.

There had been spread to a certain extent over the county for years, a secret society which was well known and had its origin in Craughwell and Athenry.

He congratulated the people of Glenamaddy on the information that none of the young men of the parish were identified with it.


Lectures for housewives

Since the present emergency confronted the nation, we have been inundated with a flood of suggestions designed to make things easier for the people as a whole. Few of them were worth the paper they were written on.

It is, therefore, with a rate feeling of thankfulness, that we have learned of the steps now being taken by the County Galway Vocational Education Committee to help the ordinary housewife to deal with some of the pressing difficulties of the moment.

Today, when economy in the use of foodstuffs is imperative, the woman of the house is a person of even greater importance than usual. It is useless to ask the nation to practise food economy unless the housewives of Éire are wholeheartedly behind the campaign.

Enthusiastic support, however, is more helpful when backed by applied knowledge. We are not going to re-open the old familiar controversy, “Can Irishwomen cook?” but we think that nobody will gainsay the fact that their culinary knowledge is usually somewhat restricted.

For this reason, the present shortage of materials to which they are accustomed makes their daily task more difficult and a series of lectures designed to show them how to make the most of the cheapest and most abundant foods to hand should be welcomed enthusiastically by all concerned.

A close shave

Frank Kilkelly, Upper Fairhill, Galway, a lorry driver employed by Messrs. T. McDonogh and Sons Ltd., and his helper, Michl. Fallon, St Dominick’s Terrace, Galway, had a remarkable escape from serious injury when a lorry in which they were travelling from Galway to Mountbellew shortly after 5.40 on Tuesday evening, mounted the grass margin near a very dangerous corner about half-a-mile outside Mountbellew and overturned, pinning them beneath it.

A priest who arrived on the scene shortly after the accident immediately summoned aid and Gardaí who came out from Mountbellew found it necessary to cut the steering wheel before the driver could be  extracted.

Both men were attended by Dr. Crowe, M.O., after which they were removed to the Galway Central Hospital where they are detained suffering from minor injuries.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.