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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Dr Colohan Road in Salthill with the Beach Hotel on right in July 1977.

1916

Battle of Clarenbridge

Owing to the isolation of parts of the country quite closely connected at normal times, the people of Galway did not know that one of the fiercest engagements of the Rising, so far as the county is concerned, took place around the police barracks of Clarenbridge.

The plan of the insurgents appears to have been to attack Oranmore and Clarenbridge police barracks simultaneously and for the purpose of ensuring the success of this venture, they endeavoured to stop traffic by erecting barricades between Clarenbridge and Kilcolgan where there is another barracks garrisoned by over half-a-score of men, and between Clarenbridge and Oranmore.

Simultaneously, a somewhat abortive attempt was made to blow up the bridge near Oranmore on the Galway road, the rails were torn up at Derrydonnell, and the Oranmore signal cabin put out of commission.

Dividing themselves into two forces, the smaller surrounded the little garrison of four men at Oranmore, and whilst this, to quote Sergeant Healy’s description, was being “intermittently shot at by about 30 insurgents”, the equally small garrison at Clarenbridge were fighting for their lives.

Early on the fateful morning of Tuesday, April 25, they were surrounded by a hostile force numbering, it is alleged, over 200. A violent fusillade followed, and the constabulary men “entrenched” themselves as well as they could and replied with vigour.

Glass was smashed and bullets ricocheted about their heads. The insurgents sent a local clergyman to the police, calling upon them to surrender.

“No surrender!” was the reply. The “engagement” continued and it is even suggested that the insurgents hurled bombs and explosives against the barracks.

Later, the insurgents gave the sergeant fifteen minutes in which to surrender.

“You may cut the fifteen minutes,” was the reply. The siege went on, until reinforcements arrived from Kilcolgan, Oranmore was relieved, and the besiegers were compelled to fall in with the general retirement upon the camp at the Department’s Farm at Athenry.

1941

Turf export evil

“According to the official returns, 493,000 tons of turf were cut in County Galway in 1989 and it is expected that the quantity will be at least doubled this year,” said Mr C.I. O’Flynn, County Secretary, at a meeting of Galway County Council.

Replying to comments about the huge quantity of turf that was being sent out from Galway at very high prices to other counties, including Dublin, the County Secretary said that this was an evil which might produce some good.

It might stimulate the production of turf and is production took place on a large scale, prices would come down, and if they did not come down, the Government might step in and prohibit the carriage of turf for some areas.

Work-shy youths

Instances have been brought to my notice of late of young able-bodied men, residing in areas where the dole is paid all the year round, who will not accept employment unless it is of a character entirely to their liking. What a commentary on modern trends!

I was told of one town where an appeal was made for men to help at turf spreading and only a few elderly men turned up at the appointed centre. The young men scoffed at it.

A good many people are coming to believe that no able-bodied man without dependants should be paid the dole in the interval between now and October while there is useful public work which he could and should perform and for which he would receive reasonable remuneration.

Fuel shortage

The Irish Sea Fisheries’ Association at their first meeting in Galway heard of the plight      of owners and crew of motor fishing boards  in Galway City, Aran, and at other points along the coast of County Galway, who are unable to obtain fuel oil for the engines of their craft.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Pupils of St Mary's College, Ballygar, waiting for tea at the opening of the school's new extension on December 10, 1982.

1922

State is recognised

At 3.30 on the morning of December 6, 1921, a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland was signed in a room in London. In pursuance of that Treaty, the Government of the Irish Free State was handed over to Mr. Michael Collins on January 16 of the present year.

This week the Free State became a fait accompli, recognised by all the nations of the earth, ratified by its own Parliament and that of Great Britain. This is the great central historical fact which nothing can alter.

In other times under other conditions, this would be a week of general jubilation in Ireland. There can be no doubt about the feelings in the hearts of the majority of people. They feel with the late Mr. Arthur Griffith that “the substance of freedom” has been won, with President Cosgrove that the Irish Government “takes over the control and destiny of our people to hold and administer that charge, answerable only to our own people and to none other; to conduct their affairs as they shall declare, right without interference, not to domination, by any other authority whatsoever on this earth.”

For the Free State has the power, by right of international treaty, to maintain military, naval and air forces, to impose tariffs, to control its own finances absolutely, to make its own laws.

And there is firm hope that before long the green, white and orange of the tricolour will wave triumphantly over not twenty-six counties merely, but over all Ireland.

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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The construction of a new wheelchair-friendly footbridge by Galway Corporation over the Friar’s River Canal at Newtownsmith on October 20, 1998. It replaced the old temporary bridge that had become dangerous and could not take wheelchairs.

1922

Posting poor returns

Postal rates and telephone charges in Ireland are at the moment probably as high as they are in any country in the world, higher than they are in most.

The penny post has been restored in Great Britain, following the wage cut, which was introduced without any stoppage in the public service.

And the postal facilities in Ireland at the moment are probably worse than in any civilised state in the world. This is not altogether the fault of those who control the post office.

But, while much of this is due to conditions over which postal officials can have no control, a very considerable percentage of it is due to a badly run post office.

There is something very rotten in a service that loses a million a year, and yet gives the public only very indifferent results; for not merely are the Irish people paying abnormal postal and telegraph rates, but they are paying for the deficit in the form of taxation, so that their letters cost them much more than twopence.

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

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A little girl celebrates Sarsfields’ success in the County Hurling Final in 1997.

1922

The ‘pay-nobodies’

The righteous wrath of members of Galway County Council very properly manifested itself against the “pay nobodies” at the meeting on Saturday last.

“I am quite satisfied,” declared Dr. Walsh, “that numbers of people who defend the policy of not paying rates are thoroughly dishonest.”

Mr. Kennedy said the policy to-day was to pay nobody and the people who were in debt themselves “wanted everybody else to be in the same position”.

Mr. Tierney invoked the dictum of the Irish Hierarchy in regard to the payment of just and lawful debts. Verily, “there are greater thieves than Cacus” – men who have such noble and patriotic notions that, to their mind, national freedom is synonymous with freedom from just and lawful obligations. It is time the people paid their rates and debts and gave up their outworn cant.

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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