Galway in Days Gone By

Members of the Galway Branch of the Iish Countrywomen's Association on board the tender, Galway Bay, before they embarked on the liner the Statendam on their way to Holland in May 1967. It was the largest liner to call at Galway since the Second World War.

1918

Senseless crimes
Everyone who desires to preserve the good name of a community and to maintain a right spirit in our people will do his utmost to root out of our midst those senseless criminal injuries that we have so frequently been called upon to condemn.
Even a professional criminal could stoop to no lower degradation than to steal out at night, actuated solely by the motives of malice, to destroy a neighbour’s property, or, more abhorrent still, to injure his dumb animals or endanger his own life or the lives of the members of his household.
At Ballinasloe on Saturday, the spiking of meadows was reported, while Galway Rural District Council received claims for compensation for the burning of thee ricks of turf at Spiddal and one at Knock – a particularly wanton form of incendiarism at a time when every sod of peat fuel that can be saved is needed in Ireland.

Upon an island
A dance, under the auspices of the local branch of Cumann na mBan, was not held, as stated, at St. Brendan’s National School, Loughrea, on Sunday, but on an island on the lake near the town, without the knowledge of the police.
According to rumour, a ladies’ camogie match was to take place at Loughrea on Sunday. Armed police were posted at various points adjacent to the hurling field, ostensibly for the purpose of preventing the match coming off without a permit. The players, however, did not put in an appearance.

Soldiers and sport
A detachment from Gort and a few extra police occupied Kinvara village on Sunday in anticipation of G.A.A. sports that were apparently to have been held without a permit. However, the town of the Auld Plaid Shawl was like a deserted village during the day, even the country folks from Mass giving it a wide berth, and no sports were held.

1943

Race crowd sets record
Despite the fact that transport difficulties have increased considerably during the intervening twelve months, the attendance at Galway Races this year has proved even better than last year’s – a remarkable tribute to the widespread fame and popularity of this great sporting fixture.
Galway and its seaside suburb of Salthill have been booked out for weeks, but the actual race days saw another big invasion from the surrounding counties and the G.S.R. rose to the occasion by extending the service to the city on Monday and Tuesday and the outward service on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Our reporter was informed at the racecourse on Friday morning that the attendance on the two days of the meeting was much better than last year and that under all the circumstances the Committee was very pleased with the patronage accorded to famous Ballybrit.
The increase in attendance this year and the entire dependence of racegoers on horse-drawn transport did not overtax the travel facilities available, for the number of vehicles plying for hire also had increased considerably and some of the jarvies had quiet mornings on Wednesday and Thursday. The most popular vehicle on the road seemed to be a great double-decker coach drawn by a pair of horses. This car took up to twenty passengers.
There seemed to be little or no cruelty to the animals during the hours of daylight at least, but many of the animals – evidently fresh from grass – sweated a good deal.
The vast majority of the drivers treated their animals extremely well. Particularly impressive was the fact that on arrival at Ballybrit, many drivers called at houses nearby to provide buckets of water for their horses and nose-bags were also provided by many.
Guards were on duty at all the cycle parks on the Racecourse to check every bicycle lodged for safe keeping during the day – and the number of cyclists on the road ran into four figures.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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