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The miracle of ether waves that sent the voice of man over vast spaces from hemisphere to hemisphere had been superseded.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

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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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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