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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Prizewinners at the Bish (St. Joseph's College, Galway), sports in 1969 being presented with their awards.

1919

Transatlantic flight

“I’m Alcock – just come from Newfoundland.” In this cryptic sentence Capt. Alcock, D.S.G., announced to the awestricken Marconi operators on Sunday morning that he and Lieut. Arthur Whitten Brown had just arrived from another hemisphere.

The £10,000 prize that had been awaiting some conquering man-bird more daring – and more fortunate – than the rest since April 1, 1913, had been won. The old world and the new had been bridged in flight.

The miracle of ether waves that sent the voice of man over vast spaces from hemisphere to hemisphere had been superseded. Man himself had come on the wings of the wind.

The Atlantic had been flown at the second attempt in a single night. That touching meeting in Derrygimla Bog on Sunday Morning, June 15, 1919, marked a new era in history and made County Galway forever famous.

When Alcock introduced himself to the wondering wireless men, he uttered an epic in six words, and changed, as with a breath, the current of history and romance.

Before we get down to the simple, unvarnished tale told by the pilot and navigator, whose names will rank in the history books with those of Columbus and Capt. Cooke, let us briefly sketch the main facts of the flight:–

The project of the Atlantic flight, originated by Lord Northcliffe in “The Daily Mail” on April 1, 1913, when a prize of £10,000 was offered, was suspended during the war. The offer was renewed last year, with the specific object of securing improved types of aircraft and engines.

In order that the flight should be a direct one, the course – Newfoundland to Ireland – was expressly mentioned, and keeping the same objective of direct flight in view, a time limit of 72 hours was fixed.

The glorious failure of Hawker and Grieve just a month ago is still fresh in public memory. In remote Co. Galway the sporting instincts of the people gave vent in great joy at their rescue in the mid-Atlantic.

First news in Galway

Late on Saturday evening the Editor of the “Connacht Tribune” received a telegram from the United Press of America, informing him that the airmen had started and were making straight for Galway Bay, where they ought to arrive within twenty hours.

On Sunday morning, the “Tribune” received another telegram, this time from the “Daily Mail” giving full particulars of the start of the flight. At the time that telegram was received the airmen had actually breakfasted in the bungalow of the Marconi Works, Ballyconneely, and the first brief message of their arrival had gone round the world on the wings of the Wireless Press.

A few minutes and the news of their arrival at 9.40 a.m., as we reckon Summer Time, was learned. The activity of the airmen from Oranmore told the City churchgoers on Sunday morning that something unusual was afoot. Soon the news spread like wildfire, and it formed the sole topic of discussion throughout the day.

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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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.

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.

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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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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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