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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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The Galway city skyline looking west in the early 1950s. In the right background construction work is underway on an extra storey for St Mary's College which stands in splendid isolation with the large Shantalla housing scheme yet to be conceived.

1915

SS Atlanta torpedoed

The SS Atlanta, a 519-ton steamer, was attacked and set on fire or torpedoed by a German submarine off Inishturk Island, between Clew Bay and Killary Harbour, about 11am on Sunday morning.

The admiralty report uses the word “torpedoed”, but the investigations of our special correspondent, who visited the scene and interviewed the crew early on Monday morning, would seem to indicate that the steamer was simply set on fire.

The Germans fired from revolvers and rifles at the crew, the 16 members of which got safely ashore on the island. They were subsequently brought to Tully and Clifden, and thence to Dublin, for Glasgow. The Atlanta was beached in Cleggan Harbour.

This is the furthest distance yet recorded of a submarine’s voyage from her base, and this is also the first time an engagement with a German submarine has taken place off the West Coast of Ireland, so far as is known.

After the crew had been put off in boats, the Germans set fire to the ship, and as the sailors were rowing for Inishturk, they saw the submarine making off at full speed in a south-westerly direction.

In the afternoon, the crew landed at Inishturk, where they were most hospitably entertained by the islanders, who provided them with bread and bacon and eggs.

1940

Connacht Senior Cup

University College, Galway, proved that they are worthy holders of the Connacht Senior Challenge Cup when, at the Sports Ground, on St Patrick’s Day, a large crowd saw them defeat Corinthians in the final by one placed goal and one penalty goal (8 pts) to nil.

While the game was singularly devoid of thrills, it was played at a fast and keen pace throughout. With a few exceptions, the players seemed to drop that Cup final complex of “don’t chance anything” and as a result, we had some splendid passing movements – especially on the College side – in which reversed passing figured largely.

On the Dole

Connacht continues to make a full contribution to the unemployed of Eire or possibly, so far as the West is concerned, it would be more correct to say, to the group of persons with little means, just enough and not much more, to render them ineligible for inclusion in the ‘no means’ category.

Last month, there were 17,621 persons ‘with means’ registered in Connacht, 17,483 being men. There were also 2,224 ‘without means’ registered, mostly men. There is a very stiff unemployment problem in Galway City and the area immediately around it.

‘Bus strike

No settlement has yet been reached in the strike which began in Galway on Tuesday afternoon when three members of the staff if the freight department of the G.S.R. were given notice that they would in future be employed on a casual basis.

Nineteen other workers struck in sympathy with them and when no settlement was reached on Thursday, the staff of the local ‘bus department also struck, with the result that all ‘bus services in city and county districts ceased to operate.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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At the official opening of the new tile factory in Portumna on January 13, 1967.

1921

Tenants’ desperation

That the land question is far from settled in certain areas is obvious to those who have been reading the series of articles contributed to these columns by a correspondent in South Galway. The slowness of the Congested Districts Board has been proverbial.

Our correspondent suggests that failure to effect local settlements within a reasonable time, coupled with the inefficiency he charges, have brought about a condition of discontent which may result in a violent explosion at any moment.

No one could contemplate with equanimity such an outburst, for it might have an effect far beyond that intended and might endanger national peace at a period when its preservation is of supreme moment to the Irish people.

But it would seem indisputable that the Congested Districts Board is taking risks that no public body is entitled to take; and the completion of the division of the estates involved should be pushed forward in the public interest without further unnecessary delay.

The tenants on the Ardilaun estate at Cong have already taken the matter into their own hands. At a meeting attended by congests, some of whom walked fifteen miles to be present, it was declared that all confidence had been lost in the Congested Districts Board “which has long since practically ceased to function on this estate” and the tenants requested Dáil Éireann to take over the administration.

The facts in regard to the Ardilaun property are sufficiently remarkable to afford in themselves a damnatory criticism of the Board’s methods. It contains seven hundred householders, whose average valuation is from 15s. to £3. Congestion and poverty is abound; there is little untenanted land to relieve either.

Migration of bodies of tenants is the only real and permanent remedy. But nine years after the late Lord Ardilaun expressed his desire to sell, the Congested Districts Board has not, it would appear, put forward any real effort to relieve a distressing situation.

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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Prizewinners at Ballinasloe Show on October 5, 1970. From left: Matthew Conneely, Kilconnell, Matthew Conneely (Junior), John Callanan, Calla, Kilconnell and Seán Conneely, Kilconnell.

1921

Grim legacy

“What did we get from the Government in the Famine?” asked the Most Rev. Dr. Duggan. And the answer was, “The Poorhouses.” They came as a legacy of these grim years, a miserable palliative instead of a radical cure.

When 1845 opened, there were 114 of them throughout Ireland, and impoverished ratepayers had to pay for their upkeep. Their erection was, indeed, in some measure, instituted as a relief work.

The famine had swept over the land, leaving us the most tragic chapters in our history. Grim, black death in a country where there was plenty, if only it had been efficiently distributed, and kept for the hapless people at home.

The Irish Poor Law was rooted in misery, and continued throughout all these years as a cumbersome degradation, designed for the encouragement of the mendicant and the wastrel, to crush the last vestige of self-respect from those whom it once caught within its toils.

With the exception of the admirable boarding-out systems instituted by some of our more humane boards – notably Galway Guardians, whose clerk took a keen personal interest in making some of his charges into good citizens – we know no instance in which the vicious Poor Laws as operated in Ireland did anything but harm.

They ground down the ratepayers; they did not serve the poor in any measure commensurate with the expenditure involved in an army of officials, an array of buildings that badged with poverty one of the finest agricultural countries in the world.

Unions amalgamated

On the motion of Dr. Walsh, Galway Co. Council at its quarterly meeting on Saturday finally adopted a scheme for “the amalgamation of the county unions” – in reality, for doing away with the unions altogether as such.

The scheme under which the Poor Laws of the country will be administered on an entirely new basis, will be as follows: One central hospital for Galway with motor ambulances; one central home for the old and infirm in Tuam or Loughrea; children to be sent to an institution for which one workhouse may be used; unmarried mothers to be divided into two classes – first offenders to be dealt with in the same institution as the children and old offenders to be sent to the Magdalen Asylum; insane and epileptics to be put in a county home at present until they can be specially dealt with.

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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Some of the competitors show their prize-winning cakes and bread at Mountbellew Show on September 10, 1964.

1921

Tragedy and sorrow

Last winter was one of the blackest that Ireland has experienced in her long and chequered history. Men of sincere goodwill in all parties hope that we shall never witness its like again.

It has left the inevitable aftermath of tragedy, sorrow, suffering and present distress. It is the duty of all to help soften the bitterness of tragedy and sorrow, to alleviate suffering, to obviate present or future distress.

In the performance of this duty, no prejudice, no argument, no excuse can hold back the hand of charity, for it is a duty dictated by the laws of Christianity, sanctified by the kinship of common humanity since the world began.

“The White Cross”, we are told in the report of the delegation from the American Committee on Irish Relief, “makes appeal not in the name of any section of the people, but in the name of humanity. No political distinctions exist in suffering, and none must exist in relief. The men and women who constitute the Irish White Cross think differently on many thinks; they are united by the bond of charity”.

Risky business

We have, this year, a striking example of what a risky business our store cattle and sheep trade is. Many of our small farmers and farmers’ sons who have taken grazing during the past year or two have lost not only their savings of the war years but some of their capital.

The system most likely to give stability to farming in Co. Galway is one which the grazing of store cattle and sheep must give pride of place to the production of home-grown food.

The risk of loss on tillage farming can be controlled, to some extent, by sowing a variety of crops and by the careful selection of seeds and manures. A collection of kales and cabbages for stock feeding was an interesting feature of the County Committee’s educational exhibit at Ballinasloe Show.

Many of the varieties staged are little known or cultivated in this country, which seems extraordinary when we consider their many advantages.

Thousand-headed Kale, Drumhead, Flat Dutch and Savoy cabbages could supplement, or take the place of, the turnip crop in many districts where disease is prevalent, or where the land is otherwise unsuitable for the growth of roots.

It is only by the adoption of a system of mixed farming where sufficient food is grown for the number of stock on hands that steady prices can be obtained.

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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