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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Galway city, December 1966: A teeming Market Street in Galway thronged by shoppers buying the festive goose or turkey, plus the trimmings, at the Christmas market.

1914

Connaught Rangers in action

Private J. Sweeney, 2nd. Battalion, Connaught Rangers, who has just returned to his home at Keelogues, near Creggs, Co. Galway, wounded from the front, gives an interesting account of his experiences.

Pte Sweeney is a special reserve man, and has had the unique experience of serving under three crowned heads – Queen Victoria, King Edward, King George. In his early life he took part in several engagements in India, including the famous Tibet Expedition under Col. Sir Blindon Blood.

When the present war broke out, he at once joined his old regiment, and went out with the first expeditionary force under General Sir John French.

After landing in France, he says, we immediately proceeded northwards, ultimately reaching the Allies’ lines as they were retiring from Mons. My regiment took part in numerous other engagements during that retreat, and although a good many were killed and wounded, still we accounted for a good many Germans.

We made an exceptional stand against overwhelming numbers on the banks of the Aisne. For nine weeks, we were entrenched along the river side and notwithstanding the fierce attacks both day and night by the Germans, we held our own.

The heavy artillery fire of the Germans was very effective, and the accuracy with which they found range was most remarkable. With the rifle they are practically useless, and the British troops score wonderfully in bayonet charges.

The Germans have a holy horror of the bayonet, and fly in the most cowardly manner when charged. I took part in the battle of Sedan. For several days there was continuous, fierce fighting. The Germans were constantly dropping their shells in our midst, our position being accurately gauged by their aeroplanes.

These aeroplanes are damnable things, and it is extremely hard to evade them. Many of them were brought down, but it was no easy task to do so. It was subsequent to the battle of the river Marne, while on the march, that I got wounded by a shell bursting close to our ranks, a portion of which cut me deeply on the thigh.

In hospital, both doctors and nurses were very kind. I was on active service for about 26 weeks, and can bear personal witness to the fact that the Scots’ Greys, the Coldstreams, the Connaught Rangers and the Irish Guards acquitted themselves with great bravery on the battlefield.

1939

Cruelty is rare

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Galway branch of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, his lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Bishop of Galway said the work of the Society was a work that should appeal to all religious, charitable and humane people.

Anyone who had any experience of life knew that children suffered intensely in body and in mind from cruelty or neglect. The children were God’s most dear and innocent creatures and anyone who tried to protect them was doing Christ-like work.

“Fortunately,” said his lordship, “in this country, deliberate cruelty is rare. But neglect arising from drunkenness or from laziness or from misfortune through death of a parent or loss of property is frequent.

“When they find cases, it is not true that the inspectors bring them all into court, as we can see. Out of 134 cases dealt with affecting 445 children, only three cases were prosecuted.

“The object of the Society is to try to meet each case in the most humane and tactful way possible. It is not true that it is the policy of the Society to run all children into an institution.”

Dancing by candlelight

A large portion of Galway was plunged into darkness at about 9.40 on Sunday night when the electric current failed and the performances in the Town Hall and Savoy Cinemas were brought to an abrupt ending.

A dance which had been in progress in the Galway Rowing Club at Woodquay was also held up for some time, but dancing continued in candlelight.

Officials of the E.S.B. found that the trouble had been caused by a piece of copper wire being thrown over the mains and Woodquay and full lighting was restored inside an hour. Gardaí are investigating the matter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Rev Fr Raymond Watters O.P recites a decade of the rosary as the rain begins to pour down during the Blessing of Galway Bay on August 15, 1882.

1922

Dawn surrender

National troops operating from Galway and Athenry at dawn on Wednesday morning surrounded an area about four miles between Liscananaun village and Aucloggeen, on the eastern side of the Corrib, and after a smart movement captured nineteen irregulars, with their officers, twenty-two service and Mauser rifles, a number of service revolvers and automatics, and considerable quantities of ammunition for bombs.

The National troops were under command of Co-Commandant Austin Brennan, O.C., Galway area, and the various battalion and company officers, and the plan to surround these villages, which lie in a marshy waste between the Curragh Line, or Galway-Headford road, and the main road from Galway to Tuam, was evolved after information had been received that a number of irregulars were quartered there, and were commandeering sheep and foodstuffs from people in surrounding districts.

Slowly and silently, accompanied by a Lancia armoured car on which machine guns were mounted, the National troops moved out from Galway shortly before two a.m. on Wednesday. One column took the Galway to Headford road, the other taking the Tuam road.

The column operating on the Headford road swung to the right beyond the Cregg river, taking the road to Drumgriffin. By dawn they had taken up extended formation in the woods around Cregg Castle, and this formed a trap into which the irregulars were subsequently driven.

Trade unions position

Mr. Cathal O’Shannon, T.D., in his presidential address at the Trade Union Congress on Monday, declare that organised Labour was separate from and independent of any political party, and would take no dictation from any quarter outside its own ranks.

He strongly protested against militarism, from whatever quarter it came, and condemned the political censorship of thought and opinion, the ignoring of laws relating to the custody of prisoners, the existence of a semi-military police force, and the propaganda on both sides.

The present conflict or strife, he declared, was unnecessary and counselled the Irish workers to keep aloof from it.

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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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.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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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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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