Date Published: 30-Jun-2011
John Sheridan was only 14 years old when he got his first job in the city, where he remained in the retail business for over 50 years
until his retirement.
John doesn’t look anything like his 65 years and for the last 25 of those he spent serving customers in the menswear department of Anthony Ryans, where he says he enjoyed every minute.
“They are great to work for. There were great people working there and I really liked my work but it was time to retire,” he says.
For the native of Oranmore, who was one of ten children, there was no talk of further education in those days and getting a job was high on the agenda for most people.
It was his mother, a regular customer at The Blackrock Tailoring Company in Williamsgate Street, now long closed, who got him the job.
She came home from town one day and announced that John would be starting as a shop assistant. That was 1960. John was just 14.
“That was the way it was. You learned your trade. You started at the bottom, not even serving customers. I remember learning how to package goods people bought. Blackrock was known then for its brown paper packaging tied up with a green twine. That was before plastic or paper bags. I got £1 7s 6d (one pound, seven shillings and sixpence) and like most young boys still living at home, I handed it all up to my mother and she gave me what she thought I needed for the week!
“Training was very important in those days, no matter what age you were. It was expected that the job would train you.
“Not only were we trained in practical ways – like I spent most of my time upstairs at first folding shirts and sweaters – but on how to say ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ to customers. There was great importance put on being polite to customers. I think all that has changed now in a lot of the high street stores where shop assistants don’t even feel they have to look at you, let alone greet you!” he says.
Sure enough John did learn his trade and he found he loved everything about it, most of all dealing with customers. It wasn’t long before he got his opportunity to move down the town to Mainguard Street to a specialist men’s shop called Burtons.
One of the reasons he left Blackrock was because the premises closed for a while following a fire.
He was still commuting between his home and work. Commuting in those days meant “thumbing” as in walking up College Road until he was in the countryside and hitching. That side of town was still undeveloped.
“In those days there was no public transport from our side and I was often running late but that was acceptable at that time because most workers didn’t have a car.”
He says that in those times everyone was at the same level. “We had nothing but we had everything, as in values and respect.”
They were, he says, simpler times, which is why he has appreciated everything he has achieved.
It was inevitable then that a young, athletic man with a steady job (though no car) would meet a girl and settle down. And that’s what happened when he met Bridie Gills from Ballindereen. Her uncle Mick won two All-Ireland medals, one for his native Galway and one for Dublin where he was based later.
As a young man John too enjoyed a few sporting achievements. He hurled with Oranmore. They won the county Minor title in 1963 and the county Junior in 1965 but were beaten in 1968 in the Senior finals by Castlegar who brought an end to Oranmore’s good run.
As a sports lover, it was natural for him to get involved with Galway United when he became a father to three sons, though he quickly adds that he couldn’t kick a ball!
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.