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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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The Padraic Ó Conaire statue in Eyre Square Galway in the 1950s. The original stone statue of the Connemara-born Irish language writer was designed by Albert Power, and it was unveiled by Taoiseach Eamon De Valera in 1935. In 1999, it was vandalised by a gang of drunken youths who knocked the head off. Surgery had to be carried out, including work on the nose, fixing the brim of the hat, and cracks along the neck. In 2004, while the Eyre Square redesign project was underway, it was moved to the grounds of City Hall, before being relocated to Galway City Museum two years later. The original statue is still being housed in the museum which is likely to be its permanent home. A replica replacement bronze statue is due to be put in place in Eyre Square in the coming weeks.

1917

Severe cold spell

For the past week we have been treated to a severe spell of arctic weather – intense cold, frost and snow – which has now continued unabated for close on eight days. Snow fell copiously last weekend, and immediately a heavy frost set in, which put a glazed covering on the snow which rendered pedestrianism very dangerous and difficult, with the result that during the week, many severe falls were sustained.

The severity of the frost may be appreciated from the fact that the various locks and waterfalls in the city were frozen. The electric light failed on several nights, and caused much inconvenience, especially on Saturday night, when a dance, which was held in the Town Hall, had to be proceeded with in semi-darkness. The explanation of the failure is that blocks of ice got into the turbines.

The inhabitants of the city were fortunate that the water supply was not interrupted in any way.

A snow storm, stated to be one of the severest experienced in the district for the past fifteen years, has raged in Tuam and district for several days. An intensely cold eastern wind preceded the blizzard, making outdoor conditions disagreeably uncomfortable.

The snowfall, which began on Thursday afternoon, unceasingly for thirty hours, and on Friday morning, in consequence of the dry weather which had been prevailing for a week previous, the ground was covered in places by several feet of snow. The large, dry flakes came down in drifts, banks in many places varying from six to nine feet high, being accumulated in public thoroughfares.

Where medium-sized walls and fences formed the boundary between roads and fields, it was impossible to locate them, and in the course of seven or eight hours, the main roads became impassable.

On Friday afternoon, the streets of several towns in the district lay under a deep white mantle, which completely isolated the inhabitants from outside communications.

1942

Vaccination defaulters

The Corporation of Galway finds itself today with over 2,500 smallpox vaccination defaulters in the city, and the Department of Local Government and Public Health, which knows but the letter of the law, insists that the “necessary action” must be taken forthwith against the defaulters: this is to say, 2,500 prosecutions, every one of which may cost the ratepayers £1.

A great many of these “defaulters”, however, have refused to have their children vaccinated because they honestly believe that the process is not only useless, but actually harmful and, holding such belief, they cannot be condemned unreservedly. Their conscientious objection is no mere bee in the bonnet.

Connacht population decrease

Since 1936 the population of Connacht has decreased by 13,300 according to the preliminary results of the recent compilation of the register of population. The total population of the Twenty-Six Counties showed an increase of 21,300, as compared with the population on census date 26th April, 1936.

The population according to provinces showed an increase of 43,300 in Leinster, of which Dublin County Borough and Dublin County accounted for 31,300, but a decrease in each of the other provinces as follows: – Munster, 4,100; Connacht, 13.300; and Ulster (part of), 4,600.

The following are the figures for the Connacht Counties: Galway, 168,500 (increase, 300); Leitrim, 48,400 (decrease, 2,500); Mayo, 154,400 (decrease, 7,000); Roscommon, 76,200 (decrease, 1,400); Sligo, 64,700 (decrease, 2,700).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Some of the attendance at the opening of the new school in Ballymacward on June 24, 1974.

1923

Gloom after war

The special correspondent of the “Independent”, who has been writing of the aftermath of civil war in the West, notes that a feeling of apathy, due to the uncertainty of events, exists amongst the sorely-tried people of Connemara; that politics are referred to only with disgust and that not more than fifty per cent. of the people would vote at a general election; that poverty and unemployment are rife, and there is a growing tendency towards emigration; and that there are bitter complaints of the huge impost of rates and taxes.

It is only too true that there is enough of material for the pessimist to brood over, and that a feeling of gloom permeates country towns. But it is a poor tribute to patriotism that has survived such horrors to encourage this gloom.

It is the duty of all of us to get this pessimism out of the national body and to rid ourselves of the notion that we have not enough Christianity and moral sense left to restore our people to cheerful and ordered progress and industry.

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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Nurses on strike on May 10, 1980, protesting a sub-standard pay offer. Around 700 nurses took part in the protest, hitting services at Gawlay Regional Hospital where only emergency cases were being admitted.

1923

Peace negotiations

As we go to press, An Dáil is discussing the Peace negotiations between the Government and Mr. de Valera. It was announced on Wednesday for the first time that such negotiations were begun following Mr. de Valera’s “cease fire” proclamation of April 27, and that by the 30th of the month Senators Andrew Jameson and James Douglas were asked by him to discuss proposals.

They said it was for the Government to discuss; they could only confer. Into the ensuring conferences the Government declined to enter personally, but on May 3 the senators placed before Mr. de Valera the Cabinet’s terms, which were that future issues should be decided by the majority vote of the elected representatives of the people, and that as a corollary and a preliminary to the release of prisoners, all lethal weapons should be in the custody and control of the Executive Government.

Mr. de Valera relied to this on May 7 with a document in which he agreed to majority rule and control of arms, but added that arms should be stored in a suitable building in each province under armed Republican guard until after the elections in September, that the oath should not be made a test in the councils of the nation, and that all political prisoners should be released immediately on the signing of this agreement.

“You have brought back to us,” wrote President Cosgrave, “not an acceptance of our conditions, but a long and wordy document inviting debate where none is possible”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway In Days Gone By

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Brendan Cunniffe from Oranmore and Robert Kelly, Tirellan Heights at the Galway County Fleadh in Tullycross, Connemara, on May 16, 1985.

1923

State of the parties

Speculation as to parties after the next Irish elections is exceedingly interesting, especially in view of the enlarged franchise.

In Dublin, the view appears to be held by a number of people that Labour will make a great bid for power.

Dublin, however, has a curiously insular habit of thought where matters that concern all Ireland and in which Ireland has a say are concerned. We hope this insularity will rapidly disappear under the new conditions.

The country as a whole is backing the Farmers’ Party, and has not the smallest doubt that it will be the strongest combination in the next Dáil, and that it will oust the purely political parties, the one because it has resorted to force, the other because it has been compelled to use force to supress force, and the Labour Party because Ireland feels that at the back of its policy lurks the danger of Communism.

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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