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Galway in Days Gone By

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

Enda Cunningham

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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.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Gay Byrne, who died this week, pictured with his wife Kathleen Watkins and daughter Crona at the Oyster Festival in 1966.

1919

Notes for farmers

Close students of the agricultural press, and of similar publications of countries which are Ireland’s competitors in the agricultural produce markets, cannot fail to have been impressed by the intense interest that is being displayed in these countries in every method which will assist in obtaining better results from farming.

The dominating impression is one of thirst for knowledge, keenness, and co-operation with all agencies working for improved methods, and is an indication of the competition that may be expected when present trade hindrances are removed.

Irish farmers, however, have already at their disposal systems of scientific instruction, 2nd investigation, as well as tested results, and need have no fear of the result of such competition, if they will only utilise the means provided, and co-operate in a spirit similar to that animating the farmers of other countries by adopting the methods which have been commended to them, and applying the lessons taught by the scientific experiments conducted during the past 20 years.

Senseless act

Two large plate-glass windows in the premises of the Co-operative Store at Forster-st, Galway, were smashed at 4.30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Those living in the vicinity heard the crash at that hour. The perpetrators of this senseless and unprovoked outrage did not go far to seek for the weapons they made use of.

The planks of the scaffolding that was used in connection with the repairs to the building were at hand, and it was these they used in breaking the windows. A large lamp, which was hanging inside one of the windows, was also smashed.

The act has aroused universal condemnation in the town.

At the meeting of the Urban Council yesterday (Thursday), Mr. Rabbitt proposed a motion condemning the outrage. – Chairman: It is a shame. But that is the way they are going to make a great country of this – smashing windows and committing outrages. It is a grand thing.

Mr Rabbitt: It gives the town a bad name and it is no good to anyone.

Chairman: It is a shame, and a cowardly thing to do, and nobody would do it but a blackguard.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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A group of youngsters at the Kinvara Sports Day in 1970.

1919

Tuam en fête

Tuam was en fete on Thursday and Friday nights when the majority of the people turned out to receive Messrs. M. Dwyer, T.C., Chairman, Tuam Guardians, and Mr. M. J. Hoey (who had been released from Derry jail). Elaborate preparations were made from Mr. Hoey’s reception and the town was one mass of illumination.

At the meeting in the Town Hall on Friday night, Mr. G. Guy, solr., said: We had the great pleasure a couple of nights ago of welcoming back an old patriot, Michael Dwyer (applause), but to-night is if anything a still more pleasing occasion because it is in the nature of a surprise.

Mr. Hoey has been released several months before his time. He has not been released through any clemency or kindness on the part of the Government, I needn’t telly you (applause). He has been released as the result of a hunger strike (applause) and simply because they were afraid he might die in their hands like Tom Ashe died (applause).

During the years Mr. Hoey was here in Tuam he was always known to be a respectable, well-conducted Irishman, but he committed the “crime” of taking an active interest in his country (applause).

For that “crime” he was sent to jail for twelve months, and not only was he sent to jail for twelve months but he got twelve months’ hard labour like any common scoundrel or rogue.

Mechanics’ strike

From an obscure quarrel between men and master, in which two motor mechanics, one motor driver and one cycle mechanic were involved, the dispute at Messrs. Bailey’s Motor and Cycle Works, Eyre-square, Galway, has been forced under public notice this week by a liberal display of placards on dead walls and even outgoing vans and lorries, and by a guard of pickets comprising of the disgruntled employees which marches to and fro opposite the shop and garage.

The placards, which are prominently displayed on the breasts of the pickets announce, “We demand a living wage” and “Strike still on at Bailey’s Motor and Cycle Works, Eyre-square, Galway.”

The increased activity on the part of the men was heralded by the visit to Galway of Mr. Liam Slattery, the Organiser of the Irish Automobile Drivers’ and Mechanics’ Union, who declared at Tuam on Thursday, as reported on Page 7, that the conditions under which motor men in that town worked were “enough to make anarchists, let alone trades unionists of them.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Pupils from St Ignatius College, Galway, who received the Red Cross (Water Safety Section) certificates for proficiency in water rescue techniques in the Rosary Hall, Taylor's Hill, in December 1965. Seated, from left: Michael Henderson, Fr. Griffin Road; Diarmuid O'Driscoll, Sea Road; Michael Cunningham, Dangan. Standing, from left: Patrick Murphy, Salthill; Patrick McCarroll, Threadneedle Road, Salthill; and David Cunningham, Dangan.

1919

Ban on public gatherings

The proclamation of the 20th of last month banning fairs, markets and public assemblies in four electoral divisions of the rural district of Portumna still remains in force.

Representations and protests have been sent to the Government in authority demanding the withdrawal of this unjust and iniquitous order from the localities named and each have received the stereotyped reply, “They regret circumstances do not permit even the holding of a market or fair.”

The fair on the 17th October was banned, thereby causing serious loss to the traders of the town and grave inconvenience to many owners of sheep and cattle for miles around Portumna.

It is a well-known fact that the October fair in Portumna comes next to the great Ballinasloe fair in the West, buyers coming from the great sheep and cattle centres of Ireland to make their winter purchases.

Those people varied the quality of stock they received, and year after year they were present in October and exchanged thousands of pounds in purchases.

Disgraceful scenes

Disgraceful scenes marked a hurling match at Athenry on Sunday between Craughwell and Galway (Thomas Ashe).

After the referee putting several players off the field a sort of general melee ensued and a number of players were hurt. Fleming, Galway, was badly injured, and had to be attended by Dr. Quinlan, being struck, it is alleged, in the stomach with a hurley by one of the Craughwell team.

Call to recognise union

Loughrea Town Commissioners at their meeting on Monday adopted a resolution calling on the directors of Banks to avert the threatened serious disorganisation of the business of the country by agreeing to recognise the Irish Bank Officials’ Association.

The resolution continued: “We are confident that the recognition of an Association such as this composed of gentlemen known as us all cannot be hurtful to any banking institution, but would tend rather to promote the good feeling that ought to exist between employers and the employed.”

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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