Old Devon Park

Thu, Mar 23, 2017

The area we know today as Devon Park was originally part of the O’Hara Estate which was the land around Lenaboy Castle (now St Anne’s on Taylor’s Hill). The main gates to this estate were, and are, next door to the Warwick Hotel. Part of the estate wall ran along the main Salthill road.

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The D&I Dramatic Society

Thu, Mar 16, 2017

The Dominican and Ignatian Dramatic Society (known as the D&I) was set up by Fr Peadar Feeney SJ in the late 1950s. Most of the members were past pupils of St Ignatius’ College or The Dominican Convent, Taylor’s Hill. They staged a play every year for several years with any profits accruing going to the two school funds.

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Claregalway heroes

Thu, Mar 09, 2017

In the years following the establishment of the Defence Forces, various classes of Army Reserves were experimented with between 1927 and 1939. In May 1927, a Class A Reserve was formed consisting of NCOs and men transferred to the Reserve. In January 1928, a Class B Reserve was set up with the object of building up the infantry arm of the Defence Forces. One joined voluntarily, but in doing so, committed to three months initial training and one month’s annual training thereafter. This group had practically ceased to exist by 1934.

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The Church of St James, Barna

Thu, Mar 02, 2017

The first church in the Barna area that we know of was a small stone building with a thatched roof on the right of the road down to Silver Strand, just opposite the entrance to Tobar Éanna. You can still see some of the remains there. It was in use until December 1839. On June 4, 200 adults were confirmed by Bishop Browne there.

The church in our photograph was named after St James and was built in 1830s on the main Barna Road. The first Mass there was celebrated on January 5, 1840. It was a T-shaped structure, rather than cruciform, with a small sacristy attached to the top of the T. It was easier to construct and the sacristy was placed behind the sanctuary. It was typical of churches built after Catholic Emancipation and it was paid for and built by the local landlords, the Lynch family from Barna House. There was a gallery level in the east end of the nave which was reached by a timber stairs. This and the entrance porch and floor were additions to the original basic church. In a number of similar churches there was a room either over or under the sacristy where the priest actually lived.

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The Galway Gas Company

Thu, Feb 23, 2017

The Galway Board of the Town Commissioners was established in the early 1830s and one of its first objectives was the provision of gas lighting in the city. In December 1836, the commissioners invited a Mr Lyddle from Glasgow to do a survey of the town and he recommended the establishment of a Galway Gas Company. His advice was taken. Shares were snapped up, an agreement was reached between the company and the town commission, and the Rev D’Arcy was appointed company secretary.

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Hardiman’s description of The Claddagh

Thu, Feb 16, 2017

“The only occupation is fishing; they never trouble themselves with tillage; a milch cow and a potatoe garden are rare among them ------, then on shore they are principally employed in attending to, and repairing their boats, sails, rigging, cordage etc .., and in making, drying or repairing their nets and spillets, in which latter employment they are generally assisted by the women who spin hemp and yarn for the nets ....

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One hundred and seventy five years of Mercy education in Galway

Thu, Feb 09, 2017

The Sisters of Mercy came to Galway on May 1 1840. They started, in extremely difficult circumstances, in Lombard Street with three postulants. The need for uncloistered sisters who would be free to go about the streets and visit the poor in home, hospital, and jail was very great at the time. They were out and about the day after their arrival. An epidemic of cholera had broken out and they helped to nurse the ill and alleviate distress. They quickly prospered to become “Reputedly the best institution that ever was in Galway”.

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The Lazy Wall

Thu, Feb 02, 2017

This photograph was taken looking west from where Seapoint is today. The house in the picture was roughly across the street from the Bon Bon. It was once an RIC barracks and was latterly occupied by Monica Wallace. There was a concrete bench along the wall in front of the house, which was known as “The Lazy Wall”, a place where old and countrified people, known as “The Fámairí”, would relax and chat and gossip. They came not for the views but for the conversations. Many arrived after their crops had been harvested. They usually brought their own food in the form of home-cured bacon, fresh eggs, butter, cooked chickens, and cakes of bread. “You rented a room and you ate yourself.” They would use the family kitchen of the house in which they were staying and consider themselves part of that family for the duration. There was a small bit of beach below the wall where the patrons could bathe or paddle.

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Galvia/Calvary Hospital

Thu, Jan 26, 2017

An interesting number of medical institutions were established in Galway in the 20th century. In 1908 the Port Sanitary Intercepting Hospital was built near the docks opposite Forthill Cemetery as quarantine for any suspected cases of cholera or smallpox that might have come in on board ship. It cost £1,000, had 20 beds, and happily it was never needed for its primary purpose and only ever housed three patients. It burnt down in 1966.

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Máirtín Mór

Thu, Jan 19, 2017

This photograph of the corner of New Dock Street and Flood Street dates from the 1930s. The large three-storey house on Flood Street was formerly known as ‘The Dispensary’ and was the property of the Poor Law Guardians. It was obviously occupied by a doctor. It was in this house that the McDonogh dynasty began in Galway.

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Bailey’s Hotel, Eyre Square

Thu, Jan 12, 2017

When Bailey’s Hotel was being sold it was advertised as being “Fifty Yards from the Railway Station. One hundred and fifty yards from the docks. Frontage; Fifty Feet. Depth: one hundred feet. Eigheen bedrooms, four reception rooms. One additional large room sixty feet by twenty six feet. Bath rooms, lavatories, Kitchen, Pantry, Yard etc. Electric light throughout. Very fine bar, seven day licence. Premises held under lease of 99 years from March 1904, at yearly rent of £4.”

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Robert MacDonald, sanitary and heating engineer

Thu, Jan 05, 2017

This photograph was taken in 1900 of the staff of Robert MacDonald, the plumber from Dominick Street. The business was started by his father, Peter MacDonald (late manager for Ross and Murray), who advertised himself in 1887 as “Plumber, Brassfounder and Gasfitter”.

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The first Galway-London airmail flight

Thu, Dec 29, 2016

On August 26 1929, a North German Lloyd Liner arrived at 6.30am in the morning in Galway Bay from New York. Special bags of mail were immediately taken from the ship into Galway by launch, and together with mails that were especially made up in Galway Post Office, were rushed by car to Oranmore Airport. Notices has been placed in the Eglinton Street office saying that letters would have a special impress affixed for this flight, and that they should be posted early.

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The magic of Glynn’s

Thu, Dec 15, 2016

It was Leonard Martin’s idea to bring Santa Claus to Galway for the first time when he introduced him to his shop in Mainguard Street. It was such a novelty that the mayor, Joe Costelloe, came formally to the shop to welcome Santa and shake his hand. Leonard Martin’s shop (where St Anthony’s Credit Union is today) opened in 1941. For most of the year it was largely a hardware shop but at Christmas it became a toyshop exclusively. The man who played Santa Claus was a war veteran named Jack Kerr.

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Pádraic Ó Conaire and the Rising

Thu, Dec 08, 2016

Pádraic Ó Conaire was born on February 28 1882 in a pub by the docks, to middle-class Catholic publicans. He briefly attended the Presentation National School, but when his parents both died young he went to live with some of his extended family in Rosmuc. He later went to school in Rockwell and from there to Blackrock College in Dublin. He emigrated to London and took a lowly job in the civil service. He joined the local branch of Conradh na Gaeilge and flourished as an Irish language teacher and writer. In 1901 he published his first short story, An t-Iascaire agus an File.

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Persse’s Distillery, Nuns Island

Thu, Dec 01, 2016

In 1840, the Joyce family offered their distillery at Galway for sale. It was described as follows: “That large and valuable distillery establishment at Nun’s Island, at presently occupied and worked by Messrs. James and Patrick Joyce. Within the walls that surround the distillery there is a mill to which there is a store capable of containing several thousand barrels of grain and two kilns, Queen’s warehouse spirit and barm store with various other offices and conveniences. The distillery contains a wash still of 5,000 gallons; a Low Wine still of 3,000 gallons; 3 brewing coppers fit to contain about 200 barrels each, 7 fermenting backs of 14,000 gallons each; One mash Kieve with machinery capable of mashing 200 barrels of grain, and a mill capable of grinding over that quantity daily.

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St Patrick’s NS, a bird’s eye view, 1959

Thu, Nov 24, 2016

This photograph was published on March 13 1959 by Alexander ‘Monkey’ Morgan (1919-1958), a wartime pilot for the Royal Artillery Air Corps, who launched a peacetime career in aerial photography before his tragic death in a plane crash. It is a detail from one of the images he took for the Irish Independent between 1951 and 1958. Some 200 of these have now been published in book form under the title Ireland from the Air. The book is a crystal ball into the past. The images are of such high quality that the detail just leaps out. Our image today is just a section of one of the photographs which we have enlarged.

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Mary Anne Kelehan’s of Bushypark

Thu, Nov 17, 2016

The first time we see a pub in Bushypark recorded is in the 1902 Census which tells us that it was occupied by Mary Kelehan, a 45-year-old widow who is described as a publican. Also living there were her son Peter aged 26, as well as daughters Delia, 20, and Cissie, 18. All were described as publicans. There may well have been a pub there before that. It was a focal point for a large number of the local community and was the only place on the road where people could pull in for refreshments. On a Friday or Saturday evening it was common to see a line of horses and carts outside as people stopped on their way home after selling their turf or their produce at the market. The road was jammed early every Saturday morning with country folk driving their horses and carts to market.

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St Michael’s GAA Club, sixty years

Thu, Nov 10, 2016

St Michael’s Club was formed in 1956 after Galway won the All-Ireland football final. The first AGM was held in Tom Connolly’s house in Lower Shantalla Road, and they played their first game in 1957. Among those who founded the club were Pa Boyle (whose brainchild it was), Mick O’Toole, John Duignan, Mick Higgins, Liam Cunningham, and Sergeant O’Toole. They started as a dual club, but after a few years they concentrated solely on football.

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A prospect of Galway, 1685

Thu, Nov 03, 2016

This hand coloured prospect of Galway, looking northeast, was drawn in 1685 by Captain Thomas Phillips, surveyor-general of the fortifications in Ireland. It is especially important as it is the only quasi-objective pictorial record of Galway to survive from this period.

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E-paper

Read this weeks E-paper. Past editions also available from within this weeks digital copy.

 

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