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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Rail workers at Galway Railway Station in 1955 (from left): Johnny Foy, Mervue; John Mulkerrins, Old Clybaun Road; and Dennis Lally Henry Street.

1918

Conscription menace

Speaking at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, on Sunday, the Rev. Father Cahill, S.J., alluded to the appalling menace of conscription with which the country was faced.

The teaching of Catholic theology was that an oppressed, unjustifiable law could be resisted. The people affected by the Conscription Bill came under three heads. There were first those who came within the prescribed age limits. In the second place there was the executive charged with the enforcement of the Act – judges, magistrates, police and military.

To those, Father Cahill pointed out that to try and enforce an unjust measure of legislation would be co-operating in an act of injustice and tyranny, and to do that would be immoral and sinful.

Under the third head came women and children, and people over the prescribed age. By the law of charity, even those were bound to resist the Act, just as a man who saw his neighbour’s house on fire, or saw him attacked by a murderer, or his goods being stolen would be expected in charity to help him.

Seven churches march

“Denying the right of the British Government to enforce compulsory service in this country, we pledge ourselves solemnly to one another to resist Conscription by the most effective means at our disposal.”

This solemn pledge was taken at Eyre-square, Galway, on Sunday by a crowd of over five thousand people. It was one of the largest gatherings seen in the Square since the days of Parnell.

After eleven o’clock Mass, the congregations of the seven city churches marched in a processional order, headed by their priests and the crowd, with upraised hands and bared heads, solemnly took the pledge to resist conscription.

Very Rev. A.J. Considine, Adm, V.F., who wore his surplice, said he appeared in the garb because the gathering was a religious one, and he continued “to convey to you a message from your Bishop and others”.

“It is my belief that conscription is likely to work out under the authorities of the British Army in this country as a grave, physical and moral menace to the small, healthy remnant of the Irish in Ireland and, therefore, to the healthy perpetuation of the Irish nation.

“For this reason and for many others as well, I approve of and bless resistance to its enforcement by every means within the law of God.” (Cheers).

1943

 Patients on floors

To relieve the demand on bed accommodation in the Galway Central Hospital and to avoid the necessity of compelling patients to sleep on hospital floors, some disused buildings such as the old workhouse in Portumna should be equipped and utilised as a hospital until a new County Hospital could be built.

This proposal, placed before the Galway County Council at Saturday’s meeting by Mr. R.M. Burke, was described by some other councillors as “propaganda”.

Ald. Miss Ashe said that the county had got rid of the workhouses and of the people who had forced the workhouses on them and they did not want to see the poorhouses utilised again for any purpose.

Mr. Burke said that he proposed to the County Manager some time ago that as materials were not available to permit building work at the Central Hospital, some existing building should be utilised. He had been informed that the old workhouse in Portumna could be fitted for temporary use as a hospital.

If that were done, patients from that part of the county would be spared a long journey to hospital and, what was more important, patients could have beds instead of being obliged to sleep on the floor.

Mr. S. O’Kelly supported the case and said that it was terrible that patients should be left lying on the floors in the general hospital in Galway because of insufficient bed accommodation.

Mr. H. O’Toole: I walked through two wards this morning and I saw beds empty. This is all false propaganda.

Mr. W. Dunne said that he would like to see the new hospital in operation, but did the people who were making proposals now realise that essential materials were unprocurable? The price of timber had gone up by 400 per cent and steel and iron were unprocurable. What was the use of talking hog-wash?

He described the proposals made at the meeting as pure propaganda and added that he did not care who liked that description.

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

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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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