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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway in Days Gone By

Enda Cunningham

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Record land price, Ashford Castle for sale, Rail service concerns and the Connemara Coast Road – it could be 2013! 

1913

Record land price

On Saturday last, Mr. M.A. Kennedy, auctioneer, Athenry, put up for sale a small holding of land, with cottage. The yearly rent under judicial tenancy was £1 10s.

After brisk competition, it was knocked down at the record figure of £300, to a local resident, which is about 200 years’ purchase at the present rent. This is the highest price for land recorded during memory.

1938

Ashford for sale

Over one hundred workers employed on the Ashford estate, Cong, are greatly disturbed by the announcement that the estate and castle have been offered for sale.

Situated amidst perhaps the most beautiful scenery in Ireland, between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, the property comprises a beautiful castle and 3,560 acres of pasture, tillage and woodlands. The woodcock shooting on the estate is believed to be the best in Great Britain or Ireland.

Ashford castle is the Connemara residence of the Hon. E. Guinness, who established a private sea-plane base on the Corrib in front of the castle.

There was a strong rumour afloat some months ago that the Corrib had been surveyed near Cong by a syndicate of the British Government for the purpose of establishing a sea-plane base in connection with coastal defence. This rumour was never officially denied.

1963

Rail concerns 

Although 27 centres throughout the country whose railway services were recently amputated or curtailed are envious of Loughrea’s improved service, many people in Loughrea are convinced that CIE is doing its best to close down the local branch-line. 

Railway business in Loughrea last year is stated officially to have made a very handsome profit – £24,000 – and the volume of trade far exceeded that at Ballinasloe.

Despite that, however, new systems evolved whereby goods dispatched by rail from Galway for such places in the Loughrea postal and rail district as Duniry and Woodford are now being unloaded at Ballinasloe for delivery by lorry.

As Woodford is only fourteen miles from Loughrea, it is difficult to understand the economics of such a service. Traders from Woodford and district, who are able to get goods a day or two earlier via Loughrea, cannot too easily figure out why the new system has been introduced.

1988

Road demand

A call has been made to upgrade the coast road in Connemara where traffic has been so heavy in recent weeks that small villages like Spiddal have experienced rare traffic jams. The road from Galway City to Carna in West Connemara has more than the average volume of passing traffic required to be classified as a national secondary road.

An urgent call has been made by Udaras na Gaeltachta’s Sean O Neachtain to speed up the process to have the road upgraded.

 

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Young people play on ice in the field between Grattan Road and Dr Colohan Road in the 1970s. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1920

Cardinal’s condemnation

His Eminence Cardinal Logue has issued a Pastoral Letter in which he denounces competition in murder between miscalled patriots and the forces of the Crown.

His eminence, referring to the tragedies in Dublin, says the assassination of individuals is a terrible crime, and an outrage against God’s law.

It is a greater shock to humanity and a graver outrage against the divine ordinance to turn lethal weapons against an unarmed, closely-packed multitude, reckless of the lives of innocent people who may fall victims.

His Eminence refers in strong terms to the action of the forces in Ireland, and declares that no path of lies can screen or conceal the guilt of their proceedings. He solemnly appeals to his flock to avoid action which would bring them into conflict with God’s law.

His Eminence adds that if the people appeal to God with full earnestness and perseverance for the spiritual and temporal wants of their country, they may rest assured that the appeal will not be made in vain.

Bitter fruits

In the horrors through which Ireland is passing to-day we are witnessing the bitter fruits of government by minority. Had the Cabinet of Britain the wisdom and foresight to perceive that an effort to impose the will of North-East Ulster upon the overwhelming majority of the Irish people must inevitably result in disaster, the terrible tale of these tragic days might never have been written.

As it is, the failure to ensure that a peaceable constitution should run without trammel or hindrance in Ireland has cost the British Government as much as did the South African war.

Yet the present Premier had once to escape from the Birmingham Town Hall disguised as a policeman because he denounced that war, and his one-time chief, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, granted a full measure of freedom to the Boer whilst yet he held the smoking rifle in his hands.

The results of that enlightened policy have been mutually satisfactory to the two peoples. Yet South Africa had an “Ulster” question, as had Canada. The difference was that the recalcitrant in these lands had not the ear of Cabinet leaders.

If to-day Ireland stands in unhappy contrast, the real blame lies with those who have stifled statesmanship and imposed the disastrous substitute of a miserable provincial expediency.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

A view of Galway City captured from atop Galway Fire Station in 1979, taking in Wolfe Tone Bridge and some of Fish Market Square. The site of McDonogh's Fertilizers is now home to Jury's Hotel, while there have also been significant changes to the buidings on Quay Lane over the years.

1920

Workers for peace

English Labour, which appears to have found itself as impotent in the face of the mechanical Coalition majority at Westminster as the Irish Party found itself against Carsonism in the days of the Curragh revolt, has at last been afforded an opening towards making an effective bid for peace with Ireland.

The Irish Trades’ Congress this week accepted the British workers’ conditions of settlement, and noted that their teams, unlike those of British Ministers, leave no loopholes and are devoid of ambiguity.

Briefly, the British workers suggest that the present campaign of militarism against the Irish people should end; that a constituent Irish assembly should be elected by proportional representation, and that it should devise a constitution subject only to the safeguards of minorities and the naval and military interests of the British Empire.

It is a significant advance that democracies on each side of the Irish Sea find themselves not merely in agreement as to the methods by which peace may be brought about, but ready to translate these methods to action if the opportunity is given.

Older politicians, however, will not fail to register the initial criticism that when British parties are out of power, they are always ready to extend the hand of friendship to Ireland and to back up the gesture with promises that they cannot at the moment fulfil.

Witness to the case of Mr. Asquith who as Prime Minister in 1914 gave the lead in the doctrine that the Irish minority must continue to rule the majority and in 1920 when he is out of power, pours his anathemas upon his successors for carrying his policy to its logical outcome.

Nevertheless, we have not lost faith in a constitutional settlement. It must be obvious to all sane thinkers that sooner or later peace will have to be brought about by negotiation. The sword can never produce a settlement; only those who would recklessly ignore the lessons of history could hold with the doctrine that force can remedy a situation that has become intolerable.

There is a strong will to peace in Ireland to-day, and it is clear that the cumulative effect of the limited publicity that has been gained from present-day conditions in Ireland is having its effect upon English opinion.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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