Galway In Days Gone By

Prizewinners at Feis Ceoil in An Taibhdhearc in 1962 were (front row): Ann Curley, Tommy Trill, Francis Gilmore, Deirdre Townley, B. Keogh, Carmel Robinson, Margaret Flaherty, Sally Kelly, Maura Óg O’Shea. Back row: Martina Spelman, Loretto Dickenson, Geraldine Connolly, Rita Egan, Miriam O’Sullivan, Barbara Carr, Valerie Condon.
Prizewinners at Feis Ceoil in An Taibhdhearc in 1962 were (front row): Ann Curley, Tommy Trill, Francis Gilmore, Deirdre Townley, B. Keogh, Carmel Robinson, Margaret Flaherty, Sally Kelly, Maura Óg O’Shea. Back row: Martina Spelman, Loretto Dickenson, Geraldine Connolly, Rita Egan, Miriam O’Sullivan, Barbara Carr, Valerie Condon.

1918

Scandalous streets

Whilst the roads of Co. Galway have shown a very marked and welcome improvement in every direction, the condition of the streets within the borough boundary is truly scandalous.

At the Urban Council meeting yesterday, the Chairman (Mr. Young) questioned Mr. Binns in regard to the quarry, but beyond a vague statement about the railway there, difficulties of weighing etc., little information was vouchsafed.

The Chairman hoped a start would be made next week. The ratepayers are entitled to hope that some effort will be made – even though this is the wrong time of the year for road-making – to set their house in order.

The Council was persistently warned last winter that if something were not done, the borough roads would get into a starved condition, and that it would take hundreds of pounds to put them into decent repair again. Yet nothing was done, and to-day it is easier to cycle or drive down a Connemara boreen than through the principal streets of the city.

Distressing find

The dead body of a male infant was found on Tuesday at the foreshore, Salthill, by Constable Hanley, of that station. The body, which was wrapped in a white garment, and bore superficial marks of violence, was removed to the morgue. There was a mark as if a cord or string had been tied around its neck. Great violence must have been used in the tying of the cord to cause the wound in the chin. At the inquest, the opinion was formed that death was due to strangulation.

A woman was admitted to the workhouse hospital on Wednesday. In consequence of statements made by her, and information derived from other source, police patrols are on duty in close proximity to the workhouse since her admission.

1943

Shameful women drinkers

The Rev. P. Prendergast, D.D., St. Jarlath’s College, in an address to the Tuam Pioneer Total Abstinence Association at their half-yearly meeting, said that statistics show that the consumption of strong drink had been steadily on the increase for a number of years past.

The most alarming aspect of this increase was that it applied chiefly to young people and, most shameful of all, to women. The drink habit among women, like most of their habits, was governed largely by fashion.

There was a time when no respectable woman in this country would dream of taking a drink. The only women who were ever drunk were those of the itinerant class in the country or of the slums in big cities. But nowadays, alas, it had become the fashion for ladies (if indeed one could call them ladies) who consider themselves as belonging to the better classes, to take their cocktails to excess and that not merely in private, but at public functions such as dances and parties.

These women would probably despise a poor woman in a shawl who would go into a public house and take a bottle of stout. But she, at least, if her action was not very edifying, was straightforward and honest. She had no pretensions about herself and would probably readily admit that the drink was her ruination. This drinking among women was only one aspect of a wider movement among them to imitate men in all things. It was a pity that if they want to imitate men at all, they would not imitate their good qualities.

One factor which had greatly contributed to the increase in drinking was the increase in the number of dance halls, with the consequent increase in the drinking that had come to be associated with them.

This was so well known that there was no need for him to dwell on it. Nor was it necessary for him to point out the serious effects which the taking of drink was known to have on the morals and proper conduct associated with such halls.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.