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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Enda Cunningham

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Boys who were Confirmed by the Bishop of Galway, Dr Michael Browne, in Kinvara in 1969.

1918

Shooting

Another shooting outrage occurred on Sunday night at Kilroe, Drumgriffin, near the residence of Mr. J.G. Alcorn, J.P. On the night, after ten o’clock, William Burke, steward in Mr. Alcorn’s employment, was returning from his brother’s house in Kilcoona, and when about five hundred yards from Kilroe House, three gunshots were fired, inflicting two serious wounds on Burke’s right leg.

He shouted “Murder!”, “Help!” when the shots hit him. The shots were heard a mile away by a police patrol.

The shooting took place in a portion of the road which is thickly wooded, and when the police patrol arrived, they found Burke lying unconscious on the roadside and bleeding profusely from his wounds.

He was taken to Mr. Alcorn’s residence, where he was attended by the Rev. Fr. Nicholson, C.C., Annaghdown, and Dr. Goulding, Headford. He was removed to Galway Co. Hospital on Monday, where he lies in a precarious condition and reported not out of danger.

From the nature of the wounds, and the large number of pellets extracted, it is believed the shots were fired at about a range of ten yards.

No motive can be assigned for the affray beyond the suspicion of dissatisfaction at Mr. Alcorn’s refusal to set more of his lands on conacre to people in the neighbourhood.

1943

Increasing train discomfort

Recently, peeping somewhat apprehensively into the near future, we speculated on the plight of Galway citizens when the holiday rush of visitors crowds them off the local ‘buses. Nevertheless, we are not without hope that – shortage of petrol and scarcity of tyres notwithstanding – Mr. Rattray may be able to devise some means out of our difficulties in this respect when the time comes.

Another transport which is imminent concerns the train service between Galway and the Capital. We all know what an ordeal a journey between those two points proved during the height of the holiday season last year. It was not an uncommon experience to have to make the entire journey of 130 miles standing in a crowded corridor.

Four splendid steel coaches of the most modern type, a credit to the Irish builders and the company that owned them, had been employed on the Western run, but, when the number of trains per day was reduced, these vehicles were taken off and some of the oldest and most out-of-date rolling stock that survived the company’s yards took their place.

The only excuse that we have heard given for this curious action was that the moth-eaten dug-outs could carry more passengers in every compartment. The explanation never was very convincing.

Probably it is with the same idea that it is now proposed to abolish the dining car between Galway and Dublin. Somebody at Kingsbridge says: “Let us cut out the diner and we can put on another old shandrydan and carry another hundred passenger sardines.”

It cannot be argued that the diner did not pay. It must have paid because it was always crowded. It cannot be a shortage of food supplies because things have not yet come to pass in this country so far as catering is concerned.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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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.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

Over 100 locals had roles as extras in the production of The Quiet Man which was filmed at locations in Galway and Mayo, including Ballyglunin and Cong.

1920

Kitchen flogging

One of the most singular cases of flogging yet recorded occurred in Tuam on Saturday night (writes our North Galway representative).

About 11 p.m. a number of men with revolvers knocked at the house of Mr. Pk. Canavan, town clerk, Foster-place, and, finding the door open, rushed into the house.

Mr. Martin Canavan and some young men lodging in the house were sitting in the dining-room, and were about to retire for the night. Mrs. Canavan and her children were in bed.

According to an eye-witness’s account of the affair, there were fourteen or fifteen men in the raiding party. Some were dressed in overcoats and soft hats, and some wore Glengarry caps.

They ordered all in the room to put up their hands, and asked if the house was Cooney’s. Mr. Canavan said Cooney’s house was next door. He and the others were then searched, and a young man named McDonnell, a draper’s assistant was asked if he was a Sinn Féiner.

He said he had nothing to do with Sinn Féin. Then he was asked, “what about your confederates,” and he said he had no confederates. Two private letters from a sister and a brother were taken from him and read, but it does not appear that there was any references in the letters to anything political.

Mr McDonnell was taken out to the kitchen, stripped, and put across a sewing machine, and flogged with leather straps and buckles for about twenty minutes.

Mrs. Canavan came down to inquire what was wrong. She and Mr. Canavan protested against the treatment of Mr. McDonnell, a young man who had no act or part in politics.

She was ordered back upstairs. Her children screamed with fright. Those in the dining-room were asked “on their honour” if they had any gun or revolvers in the house, and on their stating that they had not, they were told to sit down. On leaving, the leader of the party turned back and bade them “good night.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

A grandstand view at the Galway v Clare, Church and General National Hurling League game in Athenry on Sunday, April 13, 1997. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY

1920

Young mother killed

Rev. J. Considine, B.A., C.C., Gort, sent the following telegram to the Press on Tuesday:

“Married woman, twenty-three years’ old, within two months of child-birth, holding child of nine months in her arms, shot in abdomen here yesterday afternoon by armed forces. Died a few hours afterwards. Whole country, police and military stationed here, shocked.”

In a somewhat similar telegram to Mr. A. Griffith, T.D., Fr. Considine said he had telegraphed to Sir H. Greenwood.

The victim of the appalling occurrence is Mrs. Eileen Quinn, of Kiltartan, wife of popular farmer, and daughter of Mr. M. Gilligan, Raheen. She was sitting by a stile in front of her house with her baby in her arms when a lorry of uniformed men passed by at a rapid rate. Suddenly there was a burst of fire and Mrs. Quinn was hit in the right groin, and a number of fowl in the yard were killed. Mrs. Quinn staggered to the door with her baby, which she handed to a servant, and she then collapsed in a pool of blood.

Mrs. Quinn, says another report, was in great agony for two hours before she died. She leaves three children, the eldest of whom is not yet four years of age. Her husband was in Gort at the time, and a messenger, who summoned a priest and a doctor, acquainted him of the occurrence. Another messenger, going to Ardrahan for Doctor Foley, was wounded by a stray bullet.

Uniformed men passed into Gort subsequently, firing shots about the place. When the lorry passed the house where Mrs. Quinn lay dying the grief-stricken inhabitants fled the back way.

Father Considine, asked for an interview, said: “Please don’t ask me – I cannot. I feel unable to give it. It is too awful, too unhuman to contemplate.”

At first, Father Considine broke down and cried bitterly, “I have heard of Turkish atrocities,” he said. “I have read of the death of Joan of Arc, I have read of the sufferings of Nurse Cavell, and as I read those things I often felt my blood boil, and I often prayed that the good God would change the hearts of the perpetrators, but little did I then dream that I should witness a tragedy more cruel than any of those things, and out here in our own little peaceful parish. My God, it is awful.”

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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