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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Photo of Galwegians in 1963 when Frank Duff founder of the Legion of Mary, a Catholic organisation for lay people, came to town. Frank Duff is in front behind the two children.

1918

Stinging criticism

A Dublin visitor who, with two companions, came to Galway on Race Week, and remained for some time following, writes to us a strong criticism of the conditions he found existing. “We had moderate means,” he says,” and found that we were mistaken for millionaires.

“It is true that the crowds were abnormal, and that money appeared to be exceptionally flush, but even this did not justify the appalling charge of £1 per might per individual for shared and crowded accommodation in a very third-rate private hotel.

For our amusements we also had to pay ‘through the nose’. A few hours’ dancing with interruptions, that hitherto could be had for a few shillings, ran us into £1 and as much as 30s. All this has led us seriously to revise out views about coming to the capital of the West for outr holidays.

Surely, we could get healthier and certainly more honest value elsewhere, and feel that we had not been fleeced?”

Our correspondent goes on to complain very definitely and specifically against the extortion that prevailed, mentioning that a fixed price of 3s. had been made for seats to the Racecourse, but that in practice, during the periods of greatest demand, it was found impossible to secure a driver who adhered to this figure.

Further, the trams, which, antiquated though they were, were a public convenience, had been permitted to go the way of most things in the old Spanish city that seeks visitors only apparently to fleece them unmercifully.  Our correspondent concludes by saying that he is voicing the opinions of many others who came to the west this year, adding: “That my complaint is justified is proved by the fact that a hotel proprietress boasted to me that she has had made as much during Race Week as would keep her in comfort for the winter however severe.”

Complaints like this can do no good, but are calculated to do infinite harm. Those who are interested in the development of the possibilities of Galway should secure that the causes of them are removed.

1943

Floods invade houses

Excessively high, wind-lashed tides and heavy Autumnal rains have given the citizens of Galway a foretaste of the serious damage and inconvenience that they must be prepared to encounter during the Winter if immediate steps are not taken to prevent flooding in various parts of the city.

The utterly inadequate street lighting in some of the flooded areas constitutes a grave additional danger to life and limb.

Recent flooding has been by no means confined to low-lying ground. Shantalla had an extensive visitation on Sunday when the road outside the Spires House Convent was inundated for a length of thirty yards, the water being in some places well over a foot deep.

Residents of Bohermore had a similar experience. For a distance of about fifty yards, the main road was flooded to a depth of two feet in places between Connolly’s Terrace and Lydon’s Terrace.

Bring back liners

Determined moves have been launched on both sides of the Atlantic to secure the return of liner traffic to Galway, suspended because of the war and not so far resumed. It is felt that with proper backing from each of the counties of Connacht, and also from Clare, so closely connected with the province, the plans now underway will be brought to success, with results that should benefit not alone the West, but the whole national economy.  The chief figure in the new campaign is Mr. Michael S. Synnott, a native of Abbeyknockmoy, Co. Galway, the head of a travel agency in New York, who after accompanying 300 tourists to Southampton, has just been home on a visit to relatives and friends.

Mr. Synnott is in a position to promise that some large parties will cross the Atlantic next year and thereafter under his charge, and he is naturally hoping that they will be able to come ashore in Galway rather than in Cobh or some English or Continental port.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Runners pass the Maxol Garage during the Turloughmore Road Races on June 18, 1981.

1921

Ambush thwarted

Our North Galway correspondent writes: A report was widely circulated on Friday that an ambush party had collected at Gortaleam, a district midway between Dunmore and Glenamaddy.

Two accounts are given of how the report was made, one being that an aeroplane which happened to cross over that part of the country on Friday “spotted” the supposed ambushers and conveyed the intelligence to Galway that groups of men were observed collecting.

The other account, and the one which receives semi-official confirmation, says that an eye-witness of the ambush preparations conveyed the information to a party of police or to Dunmore.

On Saturday morning, forces of auxiliary police and military converged on the scene. It was learned subsequently that no traces of the reported ambushers were to be seen. No walls were knocked, and the roads in the district were not tampered with, although authorities suggest there is no doubt from the fact that the ground was trampled in the vicinity and that other evidences have come under their notice that an ambush was in course of preparation.

Gortaleam is a bleak, open district, and one could not be impressed with the place as being a likely selection for an ambush, although it is suggested the hilly district offered a clear view of the approach along the road and ample cover for retreat.

At a bend in the road stands Gortaleam national school, and a high hill rises up at the back, commanding a view of the surrounding country for a considerable distance. There is an old ruin on the other side of the road opposite the school. It was reported that “the school children were kept locked in by armed men,” but the teacher in charge, when interviewed, declined to make any statement about the matter.

Crown forces searched extensively through the neighbouring district on Saturday. Ever since Dunmore, Glenamaddy, Clonberne, Williamstown, and Kilkerrin have been visited by auxiliaries who searched and interrogated every man they came across. On Sunday, the people leaving the chapels in some of these places were surrounded and terrified.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

Teatime on the Morrissey Farm in Clonshee, Ahascragh in June 1951. Pictured beside the mowing machine and horses Charlie and Bly is John Morrissey with six of his 12 children, Joseph, Seán, Eileen, Michael, Annie and Willie.

1921

Growing neglect

The meeting of the County Galway National Teachers’ Association merits the attention of a considerably wider body than that which may be said to have a professional interest in education.

These meetings, which are held primarily for purposes of organisation, have an absorbing interest and a vital concern for all who desire the future well-being of our young people.

Whilst conditions of employment must naturally be an important concern for primary teachers, Saturday’s meeting revealed the fact that their minds are exercised by the deplorable and growing neglect of primary education.

The statement of the outgoing chairman that out of seven hundred thousand school-going children, there are two hundred thousand absentees from the national schools every day; this compels immediate attention and demands effective action on the part of all whose duty it is to enforce attendance at school.

That means that nearly one-third of the pupils are absent from school daily. There could be no graver reflection on the parent, the public bodies and their school attendance committees and the spiritual directors than that thirty out of every one hundred pupils are absent from the schools every day.

“Do the people,” as the chairman asked, “realise the havoc such a state of things works amongst us as a nation? Is it any wonder that so many of our countrymen and countrywomen are condemned to a life of drudgery, bordering upon a condition of slavery, at home and abroad.”

In recent years we have heard much of the attractiveness of school programmes, but the obvious inference from this lamentable disclosure would appear to be that children dislike that “dry drudgery at the desk’s dead wood,” or that they are neither encouraged nor compelled by their parents or guides to thread the path of learning.

Whatever the cause, the fact is a national scandal.

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.

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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

Stephen Corrigan

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on

Flooding in front of the Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum on November 11, 1977.

1921

What the public wants

Apart from the fact that to permit young children to remain up late in the heavy atmosphere of a picture theatre is detrimental to their health, there can be little objection to children seeing pictures – provided always they are the right kind of picture.

Recently, we have had a surplus of war propaganda pictures. The world is heartily sick of the game of killing and all its hideous trappings. We want to turn the young minds to the victories of peace, to the ways of high endeavour and moral greatness, to replace sordid meanness and intrigue with sterling honour and openness of the soul.

Stories of the crude justice of the Wild West are scarcely calculated to do this, any more than the hectic and neurotic ethical standard set up in silly serials may be supposed to direct the young idea along the paths that are best in life.

And we want happy, healthy laughter. The comedy pictures are perhaps the least objectionable. Bud Fisher stands alone, perhaps, in the great work he has done for humanity. But why should not filmmakers and scenario writers gather more from the old classical novels and the best stories from modern writers, from all that is noble and of good report, and less from the ugly things in life?

We suppose, as in the case of the yellow Press, so long as war and tragedy are “good selling lines” the film producers will “play them up”. In other words, they will give the public what it wants and therefore, what it deserves.

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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