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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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The Long Walk in Galway City as it looked in 1984, an area which has undergone huge transformation since this photo was taken.

1915

Lusitania sunk

“We are not fighting men, but reptiles – cunning, treacherous and envenomed.” So commented a popular illustrated paper on Monday in demanding that, after the devilish feat of sinking the Lusitania, with its human freight of innocent victims, the Germans should be tried as common criminals.

Up to Monday, 1,452 souls, practically all composed of innocent non-combatants, have, off the peaceful shores of Ireland, been sacrificed to German frightfulness.

Although the first torpedo was sufficient to finish the great vessel, which cost a million and a half, the savages fired another, and yet another torpedo in order to complete her destruction instantaneously, and ensure that she would not be able to make for shore.

The assassin blow was so sudden that escape was well nigh impossible, and the liner, getting a bad list, only one section of her lifeboats could be launched. Within practically 20 minutes, the palatial boat, from which no comfort or convenience that ingenuity could suggest or man’s hand prepare was absent, was at the bottom of 60 fathoms of water.

Down with her, imprisoned, went hundreds upon hundreds of innocent victims, and we are told by survivors that the submarine came to the surface for a moment in order to give its foul murderers an opportunity of gloating over the struggles of hundreds of others in the seething wages. And the only result is red raw murder, for the material loss, as the Cunard Co. Tell us, is fully covered by insurance.

Naturally, the whole civilised world shudders at the black deed, and a cry for vengeance has gone up. Not one nation attempts to defend the assassin who, by this crowning crime, outrivals the most atrocious act of savages known to history.

Even a section of the German people cannot find support for the barbarous act, though the Huns generally proclaim it as “a new triumph for Germany’s naval policy”.

1940

Idle unemployed

At a meeting of Ballinasloe Urban Council, the town clerk said it was deplorable that five unemployed men who were offered plots refused to take them. The plots were free – only a nominal sum of 1s. per year being charged.

Implements, seeds and manures as well as spraying material and expert advice on the cultivation and care of the plots were also free.

The chairman, Mr. M. Connolly, said there were no excuses whatever for these idle young men in refusing these plots.

Coal shortage

The effects of shortage of coal and other necessities since the outbreak of war have been instanced by letters read from the contractors to Ballinasloe mental hospital, who requested management to cancel their contracts owing to the difficulties in continuing supplies.

Extra supplies of turf will be cut and saved to counteract any shortage of supplies of coal for the coming season. The committee of management have their own turbary and have their own labour and transport services in the hospital.

Clash in West Galway

There are a number of members of the Fine Gael party who do not like the decision of the leaders not to contest the Galway election. Their attitude is that nothing can be gained in any direction by not fighting Fianna Fáil.

Foreign games ban

The ban imposed on St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe, by the Galway County Education Committee has been removed. Originally the Galway County Council, parent body of the committee, banned St. Joseph’s from participation in the county scholarships scheme on the grounds that rugby was played there, but recently a scholarship to that school was allowed and the committee, seeing that the principle was not being adhered to, felt that the name of St. Joseph’s should be included in the list of approved schools for scholarship purposes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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A winner at Ballybrit in July 1964 is led back by its owner and connections.

1922

Civil War impact

Had Ireland enjoyed the blessings of peace this year, the summer and autumn of 1922 would have stood out in our annals as a period when we had entered upon the first stages of real prosperity and welcomed the Irish from overseas to the shores of a free land.

Thousands of Americans came in the earlier part of the season. They had wallets full of money, which they were willing and anxious to spend amongst the people of their own land. To their dismay and keen disappointment, they found Ireland in a state of war.

A holiday in the ordinary sense was out of the question. Many of them turned to the highlands of Scotland; others went to Oberammergau, and other parts of the Continent; some turned westward again.

The daily Press has been full of the impressions of these visitors. Some of them had gone through experiences which tinged these impressions with rankling bitterness. We can imagine what they will say when they return home!

Ireland has lost by this fratricidal strife morally as well as materially, and the tragedy is that the loss has yet to be fully accounted, and that it comes upon a nation that has just secured its freedom after a struggle of centuries and at a time when we need all the wealth and work we can secure for national reconstruction.

It is now a matter of doubt whether Galway race meeting can be held this year, as those interested are not keen on courting a failure that would lower the prestige that Ballybrit has won.

Wait goes on for light

The proposed scheme for electric lighting of the town of Athenry has been temporarily postponed owing to the present condition of the country. The proposed capital was to be £3,000, £2,100 of which was to be subscribed by seven directors, while the rest was to be got from shareholders. It is expected that the project will be re-mooted as soon as opportunity offers.

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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Taking it all in at the Galway Races in 1964.

1922

Economic war

The Irish Minister for Local Government has issued letter to each parish priest and public representative calling attention to the fact that the operators of the irregulars assume more and more distinctly the character of war upon the economic life of the Irish people. Bridges are being broken and roads obstructed all over the country.

In many places the railways have been cut and traffic interrupted. Within the last few days sections of the canals have been drained off. Mr. Cosgrove says that these acts do not prevent the progress of National troops, do not even seriously impede the transport of military supplies.

They are effective only against the civilian population, preventing the proper distribution of flour, foodstuffs, causing generally great hardship and, in some cases, actual starvation; hindering the dispatch of livestock and farm produce into the customary markets and inflicting losses on the agricultural community.

The Minister goes on to point out the unemployment stagnation, and cumulative distress that must follow such acts, and declares that the economic weapon is being used to force the people to reject the Treaty and enter upon a hopeless and unnecessary war with England.

Gaelic revival 

If Ireland be wise, and her sons do not throw her back into a whirl of chaos and anarchy and lay her once more an easy prey to conquest, the Gaelic revival is assured within the lifetime of the present generation.

Our children will soon be using their own tongue as the medium of learning the arts and sciences: though it will be disclosed to them the knowledge of other peoples and lands, and of the things that concern their own.

Our Gaelic contribution on page two this week is an inspiring study. Apart from the material aspect that 560 teachers studying at local centres have in small measure compensated for the loss of the races, the fact has emerged that Galway can become the greatest centre of Gaelic culture in Ireland.

The ceilidhthe and scoraidheachta held at various centres have been the wonder and delight of our visitors, some of whom have come from the Capital of the “Black North” to learn their mother tongue at its fountain head.

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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The late Mick lally as school teacher Raphael Bell in a scene from the Galway International Arts Festival and Macnas production of Patrick McCabe's ‘The Dead School’ during the festival in July 1998. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1922

Unemployment dangers

There is considerable truth in the declarations recently made from more than one platform that unemployment is at the root of present Irish troubles.

The placing of a considerable proportion of the male population of military age and fitness on a military basis will not, unfortunately, aid in the immediate solution of this trouble.

Many have become not a little alarmed at the reserve territorial scheme advertised by the Irish Government, whereby those who volunteer for six months’ service will be permitted to retain their rifles afterwards.

The people of Ireland have said in language that no amount of casuistry can alter that they do not want any more militarism; they want to settle down to years of strenuous work to build up the country.

Further destruction and political manoeuvring with the torches and rifles in hand can only make that task practically impossible, further swell the ranks of the unemployed, and end in anarchy.

To stave off this, the Irish Government has had recourse to the methods mentioned but it should have a care lest it might err by swinging over to the other side. Its mandate is to demilitarise the country, and to reap the glorious benefits that await us in the years of peace that we all hope lie ahead.

Half the economic problems that created such trouble in England, and, indeed, in all countries after the war, were due to the fact that young men, half schooled or half learned in a trade, went into the trenches, and left the army grown men without profession, trade, or employment, unfitted for anything, full of the discontent that life under such conditions in the army breeds, and disinclination to entre civil life as honest workers.

It is easy to destroy – any fool or criminal can do that. The build up requires constant application, hard toil, moral courage, and brain power. These are the qualities we need in the Ireland of to-day.

Burning bridges

Portumna Bridge, the connecting link between Tipperary and Galway, which cost £100,000 to erect, is reported to have been blown up on Thursday.

The bridge on the main road to Ahascragh was blown up. It is now being repaired, all the male residents forming a civic guard. The enrolment of a similar is being contemplated in Ballinasloe.

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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