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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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1914

Volunteers’ parade

The historic town of Loughrea was en fete on Sunday, when a meeting was held to speed on the Volunteer movement which had been inaugurated there during the previous week.

Prior to the meeting, a parade of the Volunteers was held, in which between three and four hundred participated. Their steady marching and admirable discipline created a most favourable impression, and reflects the highest credit on their instructions. After the parade, the meeting was held outside the Temperance Hall, and a very large and enthusiastic crowd was present.

Mr. Farrell, T.C., having been moved to the chair, received a hearty ovation, which showed in a marked manner the regard with which the few survivors of the Fenian movement area held.

He said that his heart was bursting with pride at that day’s magnificent demonstration. He remembered the time when, if men met for drill and parade, as the Volunteers were now doing, they would be arrested and put in jail.

The Volunteers would see that such a time would never come again. The Volunteers would prove to Sir Edward Carson and his Orange followers that no four counties would be allowed to stand in the way of freedom for the Irish nation (loud cheers).

Mr. Geo. Nicholls, B.A., Solr., said the Volunteers were not formed to fight Carson and the Ulster Volunteers, and would not do so unless Carson deliberately provoked the rest of Ireland.

The promoters of the Irish Volunteers wanted to unite all Irishmen in a great national army. Grattan’s Volunteers, having won independence, made the fatal mistake of thinking that their work was accomplished, and they disbanded.

The result was, that through bribery and corruption, the liberty they had won was filched from the Irish nation and Ireland was again like a corpse on the dissecting table.

1939

Garda outwits Romanies

The quiet little town of Clifden, was afforded an unusual and most exciting spectacle on Thursday, when a member of the local Gardaí was seen running helter-skelter through the streets, followed by an angry band of ferocious-looking Romanies.

The Garda ran into the barracks with seven stalwart gipsy-men close on his heels. The barrack door closed promptly as the last of the pursuers entered, and a crowd of townspeople who had gathered outside had mental visions of the building going up in smoke.

Angry voices were heard from within the barrack for some time; then there was a lull, and shortly afterwards the pursued Garda appeared at the door politely showing the “visitors” out.

The Romanies were heard to mutter strange maledictions as they strolled sulkily and slowly back to the encampment at the end of the town.

Later, a “Connacht Tribune” reporter learned the cause of the commotion. It appears that some weeks ago a band of the Romanies were fined in their absence at a district court in Mayo for assaulting the Guards.

Apparently determined not to pay the fine, the band drew reinforcements from three other bands, and the combined “army” consisting of about a score of hefty men and several women and children moved over the border into Connemara where they could easily outnumber the Gardaí garrison in any individual sub-district.

When they arrived in Clifden, however, and pitched an “armed camp” in the local fairgreen, Garda Peter O’Halloran got a brain-wave.

Realising that it would be courting disaster to attempt to arrest them in their stronghold, he decided on a strategy. On seeing one of the band cash an army pension voucher for £3 in the local post office, the Garda trailed him to his camp.

Approaching the Romany, he asked him if he were an ex-soldier and if it rightly belonged to him. The Romany became indignant, and producing his credentials with a flourish, held them under the Garda’s nose.

The Garda promptly snatched then and, turning on his heel, ran for dear life. When they entered the barrack in their wild pursuit of the offending Garda, they were surprised to find the whole station party awaiting them with batons drawn. Seeing that they were trapped, they soon realised that there was no alternative but to pay up their little account to society.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Photographed at the Galway Races in 1961 were Miss Anne Gillane, Mrs. Seán Corrigan, Miss Gertrude Gilligan and Miss Emily Gilligan, all from Gort.

1920

Mad motorists

That traffic in Galway is ill-regulated and conducted without the smallest regard to the rules of the road or the interests or safety of those who use them is an assertion that is generally accepted even by those who are the worst offenders.

Yet a little attention to very simple and well-understood rules would enormously add to our comfort and convenience, especially on market days.

Recently there has been a considerable influx of country motors. Youthful drivers have shown almost criminal disregard for the traffic conditions of the City streets, which render driving at a speed of exceeding ten or twelve miles an hour, a dangerous a reckless proceeding.

Moreover, the lumbering military motor lorries have been, and are being, driven with an indifference that is no less culpable. We have heard complaints, even from those who are friendly to the soldiers, that drivers of these lorries never “give the road” to a passing vehicle.

Surely the Irish people have a right to use their own roads without being run down by mad motorists, whether they be reckless country youths who have never been taught the elementary principles of motor-driving, or ill-mannered and ill-disciplined soldiers?

Any clumsy fool can drive a car furiously on the middle of the road: trained drivers and gentlemen show that consideration for their own car and for other people which is the true hallmark of nobility of character.

City centre explosion

At ten minutes to three on Saturday morning the citizens of Galway were startled by a loud, dull explosion, which shattered the plate-glass window facing Shop-st. in the premises of Mr. Patrick J. O’Connor, who conducts popular tearooms, newsagency and fancy business in Mainguard-st., did some damage in the shop, and killed a pet fox terrier that was sleeping on the counter.

In view of recent happenings in the West and the attitude of intoxicated soldiers the previous night, no one dared to venture abroad, but Mr. Jordan who controls a boot shop next door, and whose sister is married to Mr. O’Connor, rushed to his neighbour’s aid, and found everything in the premises in a state of confusion, and the startled inhabitants rushing down the stairs in their night attire.

The little watch-dog lay dead upon the counter with a jagged wound on his side.

Mr. O’Connor is a young businessman who is exceedingly popular in the City. In politics, he is a Sinn Féiner; but it is inconceivable that any party or section of the community could have a grudge against him of a nature that would lead to Saturday morning’s outrage.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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The cocktail bar at Ballybrit draws the crowd at the Galway Races 1965.

1920

Terror in Tuam

As a police van was proceeding to Dunmore from Galway Assizes on Monday evening, with four armed constables, it was ambushed at Gallagh, three miles beyond Tuam, and two of the occupants – Constables Burke and Carey – were shot dead.

All was peaceable until five o’clock on Tuesday morning, when the sleeping inhabitants of the town were startled by volleys of musketry fire.

At first only a few shots were fired; then the fusillade became terrific, and it was accompanied by explosions, as if bombs and hand grenades were being hurled. It soon became evident that the firing was general throughout the town.

Children and women screamed, and all sought shelter in the rear of their premises, where they lay flat on the ground.

Subsequently, cheers broke out, and the Town Hall was found to be in flames. Apparently the cheering was the signal for the congregation. Soon after the outbreak the military who are stationed in Tuam came upon the scene, but were immediately afterwards withdrawn.

Mr. Quinn, a well-known solicitor, who witnessed the thrilling scene from the midst of two houses which were in flames, declared on Tuesday morning that he distinctly heard the officer calling off his men, and shouting “this is not our job,” the inference being that the military did not wish to be associated with the outbreak.

About six o’clock the orgy of outrage ceased, and the townsmen who ventured abroad found many houses in flames.

No harm in variety

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Barna (Galway) Feis which was held on last Sunday, was the large numbers who attended it. Rarely has such a fine gathering been seen at a similar function in a comparatively small village like Barna.

The competitions, too, were successful, but it would have been no harm if a little more variety had been introduced. The school children were very good, but one felt that something was wanting to make the whole thing more interesting; there was a lack of colour and variety in a programme that was followed attentively.

Singing and dancing constituted the entire programme. There were songs by school-children, by young people, and by adults, and there was dancing by the school-children. The dancing did not come up to the mark, and no first or second prize was awarded.

Some of the singing reached a fairly high standard, and “voice” could be detected.

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

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Jack Charlton receives some help from Galway Fisheries Manager Paddy Gargan while fishing for salmon on the Weir in the city on May 26, 1990. A report in the Connacht Sentinel details how Big Jack was watched by a group of around 30 people who applauded when he nabbed the tiny fish, causing him to smile and shout to the onlookers, "that's only the bait". Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1920

Lighting up Portumna

Mr. Joseph P. Martin presided at the district meeting of the Portumna Rural District Council on Saturday. Also present: Messrs. J. D. O’Kelly, M. J. Lyons, John Banfield, Patrick Burke, John Daly, Patk. Martin, Thomas Abberton, Con. Tully, Patrick Sellars, Jerome Maloney.

A deputation from the Electric Light Company, consisting of Mr. A. E. Moeran, Dr. Kelly, Mr. J. J. Kearns, solr., and Mr. M C. Stronge, came before the council in regard to the striking of a rate on a certain area in the district for the public lighting of the town.

Mr. Hynes (Clerk) read the letter from the Local Government Board which stated the procedure as follows: To undertake the lighting the council should be invested with the powers of an urban authority. Before application for powers is made, the council should publish notices in the local Press and put up posters setting forth the application, giving particulars of the proposed area of charge, estimated cost of providing and maintaining lamps, estimated cost of providing and maintaining lamps, estimated annual poundage rate on the affected area.

The notices should specify the area of change as delineated on a map which can be seen at the clerk’s office, and any objection should be lodged with the clerk within a specified period. A map and tracing showing the position of the lamps and the proposed area should be indicated.

Ambushed at noon

While on patrol duty at Caltra, Ballinasloe, at noon on Wednesday, Constable Howley and Constable Donnelly were ambushed and seriously wounded by a party armed with shotguns.

Constable Howley received terrible injuries in the head and body, and his recovery is not expected.

County Inspector Taylour, and a party of military, accompanied by a Red Cross ambulance, left Ballinasloe in the afternoon and conveyed the wounded men to Ballinasloe infirmary. Constable Donnelly was wounded in the side and legs.

On Sunday some gunshots were fired from a wood at two constables at the cross roads, Prospect, Oranmore.

On Friday while Constables McCormack and McGovern, Loughrea, were serving jurors’ summonses for the assizes in the Peterswell District they were held up twice by masked and armed men who deprived them of their revolvers and ammunition.

Constable McGovern’s cape was also taken, but the money found on the police was returned. In the first raid the attackers numbered about twelve, and in the second it is stated that about eight took place.

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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