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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Enda Cunningham

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The Ceoltóirí Cooley musicians from Woodford, who took part in Scoraíocht in Renmore in 1975. Seated (from left): Neasa Kennedy, Maeve Donnelly, Bert McMahon and Gerry Hanley. Standing: Cathal Stanley and Owen O’Neill.

1915

Storm rages

A mild sensation was created in Galway on Tuesday when the morning mail did not arrive at the appointed time, and it was ascertained through the Post Office beyond Oranmore, and, through the Railway Station, beyond Athenry.

All sorts of wild rumours spread about, and considerable anxiety was displayed by some nervous folks, especially as no explanation was forthcoming as to the cause of the delay. The train, which usually arrives about ten minutes to eleven, a.m., steamed in about 2.30 p.m., and it was then learned that the delay was entirely due to the preceding night’s storm interfering with the signalling system, as a result of which the mail had to travel to Galway by pilot.

A fierce storm raged throughout the previous night in portions of the West and Midlands, and in the district between Athenry and Ballinasloe, the snow was piled up by the wind on the railway line for a depth of several feet and the telegraph poles were wrenched out of the grounds.

Night-workers in Galway City declare that they have never before witnessed so fierce a storm, and it raged at its height between 3 and 4 a.m.

From that hour there was no communication in the Dubln direction from the Galway Post Office either by telegraphy or telephone.

A curious effect of the severe weather on stock is illustrated by the fact that two cattle weighed in Oranmore last Monday week were found to have reduced by 1.5 cwt. when weighed at Galway a week later.

1940

Pleasure craze

In his Pastoral Letter, his lordship Most Rev. Dr. Fogarty, appeals to the people to observe the Lent in the proper spirit and goes on to issue a warning against certain vices. In regard to “rioting and drunkenness”, his lordship says:

“Any man who cannot restrain himself within the limits of decency – and there are such – should not touch drink at all. All young men, and still more all young girls, should be total abstainers.

“They have the best of all stimulants in their young blood, and anything like alcohol only perverts and disfigures the beauteous gift of God.

“A young man, and still worse, a young woman under the influence of drink is the saddest and ugliest sight on earth.

“The social developments that have taken place in our time carry with them undoubtedly very serious dangers to virtue. A levity of behaviour, a passion for pleasure and dancing, a craze for excursions and running about, a growing assumption in the minds of the young that they are their own masters and do what they like, a weakening of parental control, indiscriminate mingling of the sexes, risky and sometimes absolutely indecent modes in the dress of women, a widely-spread currency of tainted literature, have all become features of our age and are all calculated to break down the modesty and reserve that should serve as the outworks of virtue, and which if once destroyed the central glory of virtue itself is easily lost.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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During an ESB power strike in April 1972, petrol pumps had to be operated with a winder, but Declan Forde of Prospect Hill, Gawlay City, found a more novel way of doing it - using a bicycle. The back tyreless wheel of the bicycle was connected to the pump by a belt, with the pedals rotating as petrol was pumped. Declan commented at the time: "This unique method brought us more customers, because by using the bike we pumped the petrol three times faster than the ordinary ESB current." Also in the photograph are Pat Kenehan (right) watching Joe Flaherty operate the pump.

1921

Bad buying policy

It is interesting and useful to speculate how far the conditions that prevailed at Galway great annual fair on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were due to its postponement on the one hand, and to the circumstances of our time on the other.

No doubt, the enforced adjournment and the uncertainty as to when the fair would be held combined to reduce the attendance.

It is possible that stock which, in the ordinary course, would have been taken to the fair had it been held at the appointed time, were disposed of by other means. Against this we have the fact that the fixture in point of attendance and sales was smaller than a normal monthly fair.

The truth is that cumulative causes contributed to its partial failure. Of these the postponement was only incidental. Only 159 wagon loads of stock left Galway during the two days against 259 at the annual fair last year and 360 the previous year.

Whilst the Midland Great Western Railway Company did all that could have been expected in the circumstances to assist in making the fair a success, the Great Southern did practically nothing at all. Six wagons were placed at the disposal of purchasers by the latter company on the Limerick-Sligo branch.

This is illustrated by the fact that most of those who attended Galway fair arrived on the evening before; few ventured to make the journey on the actual morning of the fair. Again, buyers report that owing to the difficulties of transport, and the recent unnecessary foot and mouth scare, they cannot tranship cattle to anything like the same extent as formerly, and owning to the prolonged drought, there is a shortage of grass for grazing in the rich midland counties where extensive buyers keep their stock from one fair to the other.

Apart from these causes, another much more interesting explanation is given. It is suggested is that the country farmer has not yet realised that there is a considerable drop in prices, and has not adapted himself to the new conditions.

This fall, it is clamed, is likely to be retrogressive under present conditions. The cost of living is falling, and must fall still further in order to restore “the economic balance”. Yet farmers prefer to hold back their stock in expectation, apparently, that something like old prices will be restored, rather than part with them. This, a cattle-buying expert informs us, is bad policy.

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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High fashion at the Athenry Show on September 2, 1972.

1921

Careless farmers

The unfavourable spring and summer of 19230 were not altogether accountable for the partial failure of last season’s potato crop. Planting was deferred until three or four weeks after the usual time, and the spraying of the crop was very carelessly carried out.

Not more than half the usual quantities of spraying materials were sold last year in County Galway. The wagon loads of potatoes which County Galway consumers were obliged to get from other parts of Ireland to go to prove the care and attention taken from growers in other counties.

To meet the increased cost of labour and manures farmers must grow heavier crops, and avoid risks as far as possible. To do so, spraying must be carried out efficiently.

County Galway, with 24,000 Irish acres of potatoes, is the second county in Ireland in respect of area. The total yield in 1920 was about 100,000 tons below that of an average year, which was a serious loss to the farmers and a hardship on the townspeople.

We hope that the lesson of 1920 will not be forgotten, and that farmers will this year spray in time and thoroughly.

One of the farmer’s chief difficulties is keeping of his crops free from weeds. Unfortunately in this important matter some of our farmers are rather careless. They do not realises – probably through lack of education in the matter – that where a crop is allowed to get weedy, the material resources of the land are being doubly taxed, and the crop which it is intended to grow cannot be a viable, much less a financial success.

The farmer has no power over some of the circumstances which determine the success or failure of a crop, and it is, therefore, a short-sighted policy for him not to use every means in his power to check weeds over which he has complete control.

Our attention has been directed to this matter by the number of cornfields in some districts, which are covered with the weed well-known to farmers as “Baráiste”.

We cannot estimate the extent of the damage caused year after year to our corn crops, but it must be very considerable. The yield of gran is greatly reduced, and the quality seriously impaired.

Modern science has given us a simple, effective, remedy involving little labour. This remedy has been used successfully for some years past by the best of our farmers, but we deeply regret the lack of enthusiasm displayed by many of our tillers in connection with the destruction of this objectionable weed.

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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Galway Sheep Breeders 49th Annual Show at Athenry Mart on September 21, 1972.

1921

Village halls

Young men and women of the present day expect and obtain more time for recreation than their parents. The monotony of young lives in the country districts leads to a desire to leave comfortable homes for the towns, or to emigrate.

In this work of reconstruction, which we hope will not long be delayed every means by which the young people can be induced to remain on the land must be considered.

Village halls can be made to play an important part in this respect by providing facilities for recreation and enabling those with progressive tendencies to continue with their reading and education after leaving the national schools.

To encourage a taste for reading and the acquirement of useful knowledge, every hall should be provided with a small library containing a selection of suitable books. The erection and equipment of such halls should not be left to voluntary effort, but should be looked upon as a national duty for which public money ought to be provided, and for which the country would be repaid in an enlightened, industrious and efficient rural population.

Custom House attacked

A large force of armed men raided the Custom House, Dublin, at one point on Wednesday, held up the staff and set fire to the building, which was completely destroyed. Yesterday morning the flames could be seen issuing from the surrounds.

The many Government departments in the building included the offices of the Local Government Board, Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue, the Old Age Pensions, and their valuable documents have been reduced to ashes.

From the housetops and the streets of Dublin on Wednesday afternoon, thousands witnessed the aftermath of one of the most serious assaults made by the I.R.A. upon the institutions of the Crown – the burning of the famous Custom House.

Following the burning, nearly a score were killed or wounded in a battle between the I.R.A. and R.I.C. Auxiliaries of the F and Q Companies.

The building was so badly devastated that to-day only the walls and a portion of the Local Government Board Office are still standing.

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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