Galway In Time Gone By – A browse through the archives of the Connacht Tribune

1913

Neglected roads

At Portumna District Council, Mr. Moran, Co. Surveyor reported: “Very little work has been done in your district during the quarter.

The gross quantity of material specified for all your roads is approximately 7,040 tons, and out of this amount, about 2,600 tons, or slightly less than 37%, has been laid down.

“With such a deficiency staring us in the face, and at a period of the year most favourable for work of the description, it is out of the question to expect much road improvement in your district, and this is principally the reason why we find bare and rough surfaced roads so plentiful in your district.

“The work of surface cleaning, so essential in bad weather, has been very much neglected in your district. It is astonishing how periodical cleansing helps to preserve a road, especially is such situations where drainage is naturally defective.

“A noticeable feature in the work of road maintenance in your district is the want of skill in doing surface work. For instance, in some cases, we find the high or ridgy portions of the road getting all the material, while the weak and depressed portions are neglected.”

Fountain vandalised

At the meeting of the Urban Council, the Town Steward (Mr. Molloy) reported that the fountain at Taylor’s Hill had been maliciously broken. He advised the board not to have the fountain repaired, as the breakage was a recurring one.

Replying to Mr. Faller, Mr. Molloy said it had been broken six months ago.

Chairman (Mr. P. Curran): The people in the vicinity, for whose convenience it was erected, ought to look after it.

Mr. Faller, on being informed by the Town Steward that the cost of the repairs would be 3s. or 4s., moved that it be repaired again, and in the event of it being broken during the ensuing 12 months, that they have nothing more to do with it.

Mr. M. Redington, in seconding the motion, said he believed the people in the vicinity had nothing to do with the breakages, and if they did not repair the pump, it would mean causing a great hardship on innocent people.

1938

Ashford Castle to be sold

Ashford estate, Cong, part of the property of the Iveagh Trust, definitely is to be sold, Mr. Baker, private secretary to the Hon. A.E. Guinness, told a Connacht Tribune representative.

“It is with great reluctance and regret that Mr. Guinness had to adopt this course, but several things had to be taken into consideration.”

Mr. Guinness is not the owner of the estate. It is the property of the Trust, and since he took it over it never paid for itself. There are one hundred and fifty employees.

Some portions of the woods were cut at times for the purpose of replanting, but the amount realised for the timber cut would not even pay for the replanting, Mr. Baker said.

There was “constant trouble” there from some of the residents and the employees, he added.

Since the preliminary notice appeared in the Press, there have been numerous enquiries for particulars of the estate, and a booklet giving these in detail will soon be available.

Road collapses

Coming as an aftermath of the previous week’s storms, heavy rainfalls swept over Connemara during the weekend and there was considerable flooding in places. The late ‘bus leaving Clifden on Saturday night met with several floods across the road on its route to Galway.

On Monday, while a motor lorry belonging to Messrs. McNally, contractors, Galway, was passing out by a ‘bus at Shanahilla, Recess, the rain-sodden road collapsed under it and the lorry was thrown over on its side in a field about four feet below the level of the road.

Passengers on the ‘bus rushed to the assistance of the lorry driver, Mr. Joseph Downey, whom they removed from the vehicle in a dazed condition.

Accidents such as the one mentioned serve to draw attention to the unsuitability of the Clifden-Galway road for heavy vehicular traffic – a fact which seems to have been completely ignored when the railway line was closed down and the G.S.R. Company was allowed to substitute ‘bus and lorry service.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.