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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

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The miracle of ether waves that sent the voice of man over vast spaces from hemisphere to hemisphere had been superseded.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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Film star Peter O'Toole joins ballad singers Eamon Rabbitte and Jack Geary in a session in Patsy Glynn's bar on Mary Street. Also in the picture are members of the Connact Tribune staff at the time, Andrew King, James Smith and James O'Donnell. Also pictured is Fred Herterich, vituallar, Lombard Street.

1920

Providing excursions

It has always been a source of complaint against Galway that it provides no pleasurable excursions for tourists. We have frequently urged the co-operation of the principal hotels so that motor runs and other means of providing interest and amusement might be established to attract visitors.

But one speaks to empty sounding spaces in this respect in Galway. The one hopeful evidence of progress we have had in recent years is the Omnibus Company. Possessed, as it is now, of a double-decker and a single-decker ‘bus and a char-a-banc, the directors intend to utilise the latter for pleasurable runs around Galway at reasonable fares.

On Sunday afternoon last twenty-nine passengers enjoyed a trip to Oughterard, for which 6s. return fare was charged. The double-decker will reinforce the two other vehicles by June 1.

It is a pity the controllers could not see their way to reduce the fare from Galway to Salthill, which is probably higher than that charged by any similar company for a trip of equal length.

Whilst it would be reasonable to charge the present fare during Race Week, we think a means could be found to effect a small reduction for the rest of the year.

Hair sheared in attack

Another haircutting outrage took place in a village called Cushlough, Castlemoyle about five miles from Tuam on Sunday night.

At about 11.30 p.m. five men, absolute strangers in the neighbourhood, and wearing no disguise of any sort, casually raised the latch of the door of Mr. Wm. Mannion’s house. The lamp in the kitchen was in full glow and Mannion’s sons had just returned home.

The other occupants, Ms. A. Divine, her grandmother, and two old men, had retired for the night. The party asked the son if a girl named Annie Divine lived there. They were told she was in bed, and the room was pointed out.

One man held a revolver towards Mannion’s son, whilst two held his hands behind his back. The two men entered Miss Divine’s bedroom. Hearing her name mentioned she had by this time jumped up and sat on the side of the bed with a cloak around her.

One of the men produced a letter which he said was taken in the capture of the mail bags between Bantry and Bandon. It was addressed to her from an R.I.C. constable named Edward Daly, son of Mr. Patk. Daly, Birmingham, in the neighbourhood of Miss Divine’s place.

He had joined the R.I.C. about two years ago, and she was acquainted with him before that. The contents of the letter were read for Miss Divine, and she says there was no reference in it to Sinn Féin, except that he asked her if she was attending the dances at Addergoole Sinn Féin hall.

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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

Tom Feeney, Fairhill Road, pointing to the damage on the Claddagh Coach outside his home. A David versus Goliath tug of war has developed between Tom and C.I.E. over the preservation of the Claddagh Coach. The citizen distressed by the deterioration of the coach which was parked for some years in the C.I.E. main city yard took the coach to his own home and wanted to preserve it properly or be given a guarantee that C.I.E. would do so before he handed it back. The Claddagh Coach was a first class example of the transport of its era and sections of it at least are several hundreds of years old. Its origins are not quite clear but the coach made its first public appearance of modern times about the mid 1950s when the late Brian B. Collins, then manager of the Great Southern Hotel, had it redecorated and introduced a coach tour of Galway which was very popular with tourists for many years.

1920

Apathetic electorate

“Utter apathy” is the phrase that would best describe the attitude of the general public towards the Local government elections which will be held in June. Indeed, as far as County Galway is concerned, these elections are all but over.

Twelve members of the County Council have already been elected; only eight remain to be elected for the Galway and Connemara areas. Thus in three of the five county electoral areas there will be no contests.

In the Galway area there are six candidates for four seats; in the Oughterard (Connemara) area there are five candidates for four seats.

The most noteworthy feature of the county and rural elections is the disappearance out of public life of old and familiar figures. A few of those who had themselves nominated have since withdrawn.

Only stalwart fighters like Mr. Martin McDonogh remain to carry the contest to the polling booth.

Secret societies

Mr. A. Staunton (Chairman) presided at the weekly meeting of the Ballinasloe Urban Council on Tuesday evening, Mary 4. The other members present were: Messrs. J. Shaughnessy, F. Clayton, Craughwell, T. Derham, T. Murray, McDonnell, M. Connolly, Michl. Ryan, M. Nevin and Dr. Rutherford.

This was the first meeting to be held at the new hour – eight o’clock. The members assembled in committee at 7 o’clock to discuss an important question concerning the rents and tenants of the Council’s cottages.

The proceedings continued on to eight o’clock, when the estimate for the current year was also discussed in detail, but no decision was arrived at. The Press was not permitted to be present. The rate question was again gone into at the Council meeting proper, which was held at 8.30.

Mrs. Gavin was waiting from 7 until 8.30 with a view to asking the Council to provide a recreation ground for the town. When allowed into the council chamber, she indignantly said: “It is scandalous to keep ratepayers outside – they should be allowed to be present.”

Proceeding, Mrs. Gavin said she was kept waiting in the cold for an hour and a half, and it was the people who were saying rates should be allowed to be present.

“There should be no secret societies,” she asserted with great heat.

Chairman: The meeting should only start at 8 o’clock. – “There should be no secret societies behind the ratepayers’ back,” answered Mrs. Gavin. “Waiting for an hour and a half is uncalled for.”

The minutes having been read, Mrs. Gavin asked if there was anything regarding the deputation that was to wait on Mr. Davidson regarding the horse show grounds.

The Chairman said there was a letter from Mr. Davidson saying it was his recollection that the trustees of the Clancarty estate would not consent to the extension of the grounds for various reasons.

Mr. Ryan suggested that a point deputation from the Council and parties interested in town wait on Mr. Davidson. Mr Clayton seconded, the Chairman agreed, and this was the decision come to.

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

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

A view from the top of Galway Cathedral during construction in January 1965.

1920

Settling the Irish Question

Frankly we do not believe the present British Government will ever make a serious or sincere effort to settle what it terms the “Irish Question.”

In the circumstances of British relations with Ireland to-day as revealed by the attitude of Mr. Lloyd George satellites, we quite sympathise with the little remnant of the Constitutional Irish Party in shaking the dust of Westminster off its feet during the elaborate farce that is now being enacted.

The bulk of legislators in that assembly have no real sympathy with Ireland, and act as if the terrible tragedy across Irish Sea did not exist.

But there is one important exception. Labour opinion in England in recent years has made wonderful advances in regards to Ireland. And we do not believe the Labour Party fully represents or expresses these advances.

During the week we beheld Labour in the country telling its representatives in the House of Commons that they did not go far enough on the Irish issue; that men must not be jailed without just cause and fair trial and conviction by ordinary process of law; that the nightmare of militarism must be lifted from our unhappy land, that Ireland must be free.

If Labour were in power to-morrow, Ireland would undoubtedly get all that she might reasonably demand; and the present majority at Westminster knows it, and strains every nerve that the truth about Ireland may be concealed from the English masses.

Saturday’s demonstrations at Hyde Park revealed as nothing else could the strength and the solidarity of Labour. It was a significant portent that the greatest gathering in all that vast assemblage of workers stood around the Sinn Féin platform.

In the heart the Empire ten thousand workers showed a desire to be told the truth that is so diligently hidden by a politically-minded Press. And let there be no mistake about it, the English politicians and the Press fear Labour.

For years, it has toiled at their terms. It has had no share in the good things of the wealthiest country in the world. To-day Labour dictates its own terms; and the politician looking abroad sees unrest everywhere, and fears that his days are numbered. He does not want to have to answer to Labour for the state of Ireland.

Rising prices

The prices of the mere necessaries of life still continue to soar (writes our Tuam correspondent), and the wage-earners in the town are hard hit.

Mutton and beef have advanced 4d. per lb. within the last week to 2s. 6d. per lb. No potatoes were brought into the market last Saturday because, apparently, the farmers do not wish to sell them below their own price.

Similarly, the turf is being held back. The Town Commissioners might be able to take the matter up and relieve the unfortunate people who are suffering most by reason of this action. If a committee met the Farmers’ Organisation a settlement of reasonable prices might be come to.

At the meeting of the Tuam Town Commissioners on Tuesday evening, Mr. M. Dwyer presiding, Mr. Byrne asked if the board was going to do anything about the present disturbed state of the market.

The townspeople were complaining owing to the starvation of the markets if the country people did not bring in potatoes. Mr. Burke: The Saturday before they were controlled a workman could not get a bag of potatoes, and the workmen of Tuam came here and organised themselves and made an effort to control the potatoes but they didn’t go the right way about it.

The land sharks kept the potatoes out last Saturday and they should be made toe the line. – Mr Burke: Hundreds of tons are exported from Ballyglunin, while the poor of the town starve.

Mr. P. Walsh: The shopkeepers and Town Commissioners are blamed for it. – Chairman: The price was reduced to 1s. a stone, and the Transport Workers thought they were doing a good turn for the people of the town, and, unfortunately, it turned out the reverse, and created a lot of dissension. – Mr. Coogan: it is the exporters they should get at, and the matter would settle itself.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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