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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Prizewinners at the Bish (St. Joseph's College, Galway), sports in 1969 being presented with their awards.

1919

Transatlantic flight

“I’m Alcock – just come from Newfoundland.” In this cryptic sentence Capt. Alcock, D.S.G., announced to the awestricken Marconi operators on Sunday morning that he and Lieut. Arthur Whitten Brown had just arrived from another hemisphere.

The £10,000 prize that had been awaiting some conquering man-bird more daring – and more fortunate – than the rest since April 1, 1913, had been won. The old world and the new had been bridged in flight.

The miracle of ether waves that sent the voice of man over vast spaces from hemisphere to hemisphere had been superseded. Man himself had come on the wings of the wind.

The Atlantic had been flown at the second attempt in a single night. That touching meeting in Derrygimla Bog on Sunday Morning, June 15, 1919, marked a new era in history and made County Galway forever famous.

When Alcock introduced himself to the wondering wireless men, he uttered an epic in six words, and changed, as with a breath, the current of history and romance.

Before we get down to the simple, unvarnished tale told by the pilot and navigator, whose names will rank in the history books with those of Columbus and Capt. Cooke, let us briefly sketch the main facts of the flight:–

The project of the Atlantic flight, originated by Lord Northcliffe in “The Daily Mail” on April 1, 1913, when a prize of £10,000 was offered, was suspended during the war. The offer was renewed last year, with the specific object of securing improved types of aircraft and engines.

In order that the flight should be a direct one, the course – Newfoundland to Ireland – was expressly mentioned, and keeping the same objective of direct flight in view, a time limit of 72 hours was fixed.

The glorious failure of Hawker and Grieve just a month ago is still fresh in public memory. In remote Co. Galway the sporting instincts of the people gave vent in great joy at their rescue in the mid-Atlantic.

First news in Galway

Late on Saturday evening the Editor of the “Connacht Tribune” received a telegram from the United Press of America, informing him that the airmen had started and were making straight for Galway Bay, where they ought to arrive within twenty hours.

On Sunday morning, the “Tribune” received another telegram, this time from the “Daily Mail” giving full particulars of the start of the flight. At the time that telegram was received the airmen had actually breakfasted in the bungalow of the Marconi Works, Ballyconneely, and the first brief message of their arrival had gone round the world on the wings of the Wireless Press.

A few minutes and the news of their arrival at 9.40 a.m., as we reckon Summer Time, was learned. The activity of the airmen from Oranmore told the City churchgoers on Sunday morning that something unusual was afoot. Soon the news spread like wildfire, and it formed the sole topic of discussion throughout the day.

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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At the Calderwood/Derrydonnell Fianna Fáil dinner in December 1986 were Brendan and Mary Jordan, Martin Daly, Ballinderreen, Phil Dooney, Woodvale, Craughwell, and Ned and Phil Lyons.

1919

New club needed

A meeting of the Galway Discharged Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Federation was held in the Court Theatre on Saturday afternoon, Mr. T. F. Goulding, President, in the chair.

Colonel Chamier, O.C., Renmore Barracks, detailed the steps being taken to procure a club for the men.

Captain W. G. Seymour, Secretary of the Galway County Council, said they intended to build a hall worthy of the men he saw before him and of the three or four hundred he was sorry not to see there (applause).

Up to the present they had £1,250 on hands for the object. That was for the whole county, as they had soldiers’ federations in Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Portumna, and elsewhere, which they also had to look after. They intended to make a start with the work before appealing for more money.

Mr. J. S. Young, J.P., said he would like to see more of the demobilised soldiers and sailors there that evening. He was sorry to see that a number of ex-service men were not joining the federation that ought to join it, and a number of those that were joined did not turn up to the meetings or pay their subscriptions.

The poor’s suffering

At a meeting of the Ballinasloe Guardians on Saturday, Mr. J. McKeigue presiding, twelve tenders were received for milk at 3s. per gallon. – In reply to the Chairman, the master said last year’s price was 2s.

Mr. Parker: I consider fifty per cent. of an increase outrageous.

Chairman: It is a big rise, but look at the price of an acre of hay and a cow.

Mr. Lynskey: I propose 2s. 6d.

Mr. Parker: They are no higher than last year.

Mr. Mitchell: There is no use in being death on the poor milk contractors. They are giving 2s. 8d. in Loughrea. The master takes most of the milk in winter.

Mr. Parker: It would make things very hard on the poor people.

Mr. Claffey: It would be creating a precedent to give 3s. for milk. The poor people would say the high price of milk was our fault. He would propose 2s.

Mr. Parker seconded. – After further discussion, Mr. Parker suggested 2s. 3d. and Mr Geraghty favoured 2s. 6d.

Mr: Parker: I wish we could give them 10s., but it is the poor people have to pay, not us.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Members of the Old IRA at the unveiling of the Liam Mellows Memorial at Killeeneen, Craughwell, in April 1965.

1919

War rents

The war has bred manifold evils, not the least of them being insensate profiteering in all departments of life. A War Rents League has now been established with headquarters at 4, Duke-street, London, and it proposes to tackle the question of house “profiteering.”

The Premier has asked the League to give him a memorandum as to the extent of the practice, the idea being to bring profiteering in rents or in the sale of houses within the scope of the Act.

The Government have at last begun to see that it is absolutely essential that the cost of living should come down, and he put the proposition to Mr. Thomas at the railwaymen’s conference that wages must then also decrease.

Mr. Thomas admitted that in such an eventuality wages might be reviewed; and it is said that this gave the rank and file the impression that the Government was going to reduce wages and precipitated the strike.

At any rate, it is obvious that wages are a delusion and a snare so long as wholesale profiteering goes on.

Excessive price

With regard to the acceptance of the tender of Mr. Martin Ward to supply eggs for use in the workhouse during the ensuing half-year at 9s. 2d. per score, the Local Government Board wrote to the Loughrea Board of Guardians on Saturday stating that the price seemed excessive, and the Guardians should endeavour to procure eggs on more reasonable terms.

Mr. Earls: 9s. 2s. per score is very dear.

Mr. Cahill: That is for the winter months.

Chairman (Mr. M. Henchy): Couldn’t we get them cheaper?

Mr. Earls: 6s. 8d. per score is the correct price.

Chairman: Are we bound to consent to the contract price?

Mr. Connell: In my opinion, Mr. Ward would be as well pleased not to get the contract at all.

Mr. Cahill: You readvertised for eggs three years in succession, and the original tender was lower than the one accepted on each occasion.

Mr. Earls: They won’t be cheaper either.

Mr. Flannery: Let us be careful of a surcharge. If they were that price in Dublin I am sure the Local Government Board would not object.

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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Described as young stars of the future, pictured at the Corrib Rangers FC dinner in October 1985 were (from left) Barry Conneely, Declan Craughwell, Mark Keane, Jason Faherty, Robert Forde and Tommy Murray.

1919

Bad fortune

When Madame C. Blanche, Bridge-st., Lisburn, was put under a rule of bait by the Petty Sessions Court on conviction for professing to tell fortunes by palmistry, Mr. Maginess, for the defence, said if it was against the law for this woman to tell fortunes it was also against the law to do so at bazaars in aid of church funds.

“It is a bigger crime at bazaars,” observed Mr. Griffith, J.P., who added that “it is a shame such a thing should be allowed there.”

The case was proved by Police-woman Jane Bell, who, amid laughter, said Madame Blanche told her, among other things, that she had four offers of marriage, that she would be married “for better,” that she “would not shed a tear for anyone for nine years,” and that she “would never be in the courthouse with anything concerning herself.”

Carpenters’ strike

The carpenters of Galway “downed tools” on Saturday morning. The local firms affected are McDonogh and Sons joinery works, J. Steward, Salthill, Timothy Emerson, McNally and Co., Frank Lydon, Robert MacDonnell, Walter O’Flaherty, and the Galway Urban Council, which is acting as a paymaster for the Government under the reconstruction scheme in connection with the erection of a hangar for the building of motor fishing boats at the docks.

Carpenters are paid at the rate of 1s. 2d. per hour, or £ 19s. 6d. for a fifty-one hour week. They demanded 1s. 8d. per hour, or £4 5s. per week.

After conference and consultation with other employers in different provincial towns, the employers in different provincial towns, the employers offered 1s. 4d. per hour, or £3 8s. per week. The men also demanded 3s. per day subsistence allowance when working out of town.

Fire outbreak  

On Sunday night a defective chimney which serves the houses of Messrs. J. J. Gurhy and J. Raftery, Main-st., Loughrea, caught fire. As soon as the alarm was given a number of willing hands and the local “fire brigade” were quickly on the scene to try to cope with what first appeared to be a serious outbreak.

Fortunately, however, their services were not required as the conflagration, which lasted for several hours, did not extend beyond the chimney originally affected.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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