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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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February 1990 and work is underway on preparing the site on the Dyke Road for the building of the current carpark. The Black Box theatre was to be built on the inner part of the area some years later.

1915

Panic-mongering

The complaint made by Mr. Ellis, J.P., at the meeting of Tuam Rural District Council, Galway, that the police had notified a man to “clear out, destroy his property, and bury his stock,” reveals, if there be truth in it, a scandal in panic-mongering that should be stopped without delay.

Mr. Ellis did not give names or particulars, but a clear obligation rests upon him as a magistrate not to allow a grave matter of this kind to rest.

We are inclined to think, however, that his informant rather exaggerated the notice conveyed to him by the police, as our own experience is that the precautionary notices conveyed through the police were either wholly misinterpreted in many instances, by those who received them, or else badly delivered.

Untrue war reports

An unusual case, the first of its kind in the West of Ireland, was heard at the City Petty Sessions, when a local postman named John Burke was charged by the Crown under the Defence of the Realm (Consolidation) Act, with having, on the 22nd January last, unlawfully spread false reports in relation to His Majesty’s ships of war, likely to cause alarm to certain of His Majesty’s subjects.

The charge was on that morning, the defendant did spread a false report – that some of His Majesty’s shops of war had been sunk by the German fleet in the North Sea, to the number of two, three and even seven ships. That report went around the town like wildfire, and created a great deal of alarm to some of the inhabitants, especially around the place where it was originally circulated – about the Claddagh and Dominick Street – from which places a lot of men are serving on His Majesty’s ships. That was not the first time such a thing had occurred, and the prosecution would show that on that day, Burke, mentioned in every house he visited on his rounds that some British ships had been sunk.

People would be inclined to give credence to the story when it was circulated by a postman, who might be supposed to speak with authority.

The magistrates having consulted, the Chairman said it was well for people to know the penalties they were liable to for a contravention of the Act – £100 fine or six months’ imprisonment, or both.

In times like the present, there was no use in every silly goose going about the place and making matters worse. The defendant was a silly goose in doing what he did, though he (Chairman) did not suppose he had any evil intention in doing so.

It was right to put a stop to such a thing, even though there was no evil intention. They would fine defendant £1 and costs.

1940

Summer Time

It is credibly reported that Great Britain proposes to introduce Summer Time on the night of Saturday-Sunday, February 24-25. This is our excuse for introducing such a subject at a time when we have all the vagaries of winter outside our doors and all the exactions of the tax gatherer coming in stern envelopes with the morning tea.

Following precedent, Summer Time should burst upon us like a thief in the night on the third week in April. Obviously, the reason for introducing the Willet scheme to save daylight in Great Britain while the snow yet lies on the ground is to give more daylight because of an intense blackout, which has so far cost many more casualties on roads and streets than the war and out of which the gay French get many a laugh as they tread their well-illuminated boulevards.

But the problem is of some concern to Éire, for if this innovation which would be regarded as an absurdity except as a war-time measure is enforced in Great Britain, it may be considered expedient to walk in step here if time-tables and inter-communications are not to be hopelessly out of gear during the eight weeks that must elapse before in its third week.

Fire outbreak

A fire which broke out in the lock-up drapery business of Mr. John Smyth, Dunlo-st., Ballinasloe, late on Saturday night and burned for some hours before it was got under control, gutted most of the premises and shop, and destroyed a large quantity of drapery goods stored on the premises.

Three fire brigades, the town council brigade, the mental hospital brigade, and the military fire brigade from Athlone, fought the flames for hours. At about 2am, when the military arrived from Athlone, the fire had got a good grip on the premises, and guards and civilians worked strenuously to keep the flames from spreading to adjoining premises.

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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