Remembering Foggy Spelman

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Paschal Spelman may have been given that name at birth, but to the many thousands of people (especially old Galwegians) he entertained down the years, he was simply known as ‘Foggy’.

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Lowering the old wall

Thu, Oct 16, 2014

Church Lane was a dark place up until 1983 because of the very large high stone wall that ran the length of it. This was part of a wall that was built around St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and its adjoining graveyard. The removal of most of the wall and its replacement by the railings that once surrounded Eyre Square was one of the earliest ideas for improving Galway as it prepared for the Quincentennial in 1984. This project transformed the area around the church, making it much more attractive and opening it up to the passing public. It let a lot of light into the city centre.

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Eighty years of Jes rowing

Fri, Oct 10, 2014

Maurice Semple’s book Reflections on Lough Corrib has a very good section on the history of rowing on the river and lake. The first clubs were formed in the mid 19th century, and competitive rowing has been a feature of Galway life since. A number of pupils in Coláiste Iognáid came together in October 1934 to ask the school if it would consider setting up a Jes Rowing Club. Happily, it did, and thus began a history of great achievement which continues to the present day.

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A Claddagh family, one hundred and fifty years ago

Thu, Sep 18, 2014

The title of this photograph is “A Claddagh Family” and it dates from c1865. It is from an album discovered some time ago in Chetham Library in Manchester in which all of the photographs are of locations in Galway city or county. It is interesting to note that a photograph of this exact group in a different pose, almost certainly taken on the same day, is in a different album in the National Library of Ireland. This second  image is titled “The King of the Claddagh” but we do not know his name.

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War victims come to Galway

Thu, Sep 04, 2014

At 11.15am on September 3 1939, Neville Chamberlain went on radio to announce that Britain had declared war on Germany. Hitler was still hopeful of a diplomatic resolution and to this end, he issued strict orders for U-boats to follow the Prize Regulations under which attacks on passenger liners were prohibited. Unfortunately, the first ship that was sunk by a U-boat was the SS Athenia,  which was carrying 1,418 passengers and crew. She was about 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland at the time.

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The Lough Athalia railway bridge

Thu, Aug 28, 2014

The coming of the railway line from Dublin to Galway was one of the most significant events in the history of our city in the 19th century. It opened up the city and its environs in a commercial and in a tourist sense, making Galway accessible to the rest of the world. It was a major engineering achievement, regarded as the first indication of Galway’s future greatness both as a mercantile and manufacturing city.

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The Gunna Mórs

Thu, Aug 21, 2014

This area of the Claddagh was known as ‘the Big Grass’ or ‘the Green Grass’. It was the one open space of ground in the village and faced what is known as the Swamp today. It was very marshy, though some of it was used as a playground by local children, and it was also where the Claddagh Races took place.

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Swimming in Salthill

Thu, Aug 14, 2014

Competitive swimming really began in Galway with the formation of two swimming clubs, Blackrock SC and Galway SC. Both were formed in 1930.

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Kiloughter long ago

Thu, Aug 07, 2014

This photograph of Carrabrowne National School was taken in 1936 and shows, back row, left to right: Pete Keane, Carrabrowne; Jimmy O’Brien, Kiloughter; Davey Corcoran, Carrabrowne; Willie Glynn, Kiloughter; Francis Corcoran, Carrabrowne; Stephen O’Brien, Carrabrowne; Mattie Casserley, Kiloughter; Willie Higgins, Ballindooley; Stephen O’Brien, Kiloughter; Mickey McGrath, Ballindooley; Tom Costelloe, Kiloughter; and Stephen Birmingham, Kiloughter.

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The Jesuit church

Thu, Jul 31, 2014

On this day, July 31, in 1863, “The new Church of St Ignatius on the Sea Road in the vicinity of the city was dedicated by the Most Rev Dr McEvilly, Lord Bishop of Galway. Sea Road is one of the most fashionable and frequented thoroughfares in the suburbs of our city. The Church, which was commenced in 1861, is now complete with the exception of the organ, altar and some minor internal decorations; and we have no doubt the zeal of the faithful will only require such a desirable opportunity of enabling the Jesuit Fathers, whose excellent judgement in these matters is fully acknowledged, to complete the required improvements, and that nothing shall be wanted which the good taste of the architect can suggest to make everything perfect. The Church is built of hammered limestone ashlar work in courses. The south gable, or principal front, the spire and the quoins, dressings etc, being finely punched and the depths of the jambs and arches of the principal doors and windows, which are richly moulded, adds greatly to its appearance. The Church, which is Gothic in style, is in the form of a Latin Cross, 115 feet in extreme length, 36 feet wide and 70 feet across the transepts, 56 to the ridge and 110 to the top of the spire”.

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The tennis club

Thu, Jul 24, 2014

The Galway Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was founded at a meeting in the Royal Hotel, Eyre Square, on May 19, 1900. Many of the founders were members of the British army, the landed gentry, and the professions such as doctors, solicitors, professors, etc. Membership was by invitation only so there was a certain elitism attached to the club in the early days.

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The Corrib Club, one hundred and fifty years

Thu, Jul 17, 2014

The Corrib Club was founded in July 1864, 150 years ago this month. Unfortunately the minutes of the club for that year and 1865 are nowhere to be found, but the late Maurice Semple, having access to minutes for most other years, produced a book entitled A Century of Minutes, the Story of the Corrib Club 1864-1966, from which we publish extracts today.

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The Galway-Clifden Railway

Thu, Jul 10, 2014

This railway line was built under the auspices of the Congested Districts Board and was of enormous importance to the people of all of Connemara. It was a great feat of engineering from the point of departure westwards from Galway station with the necessary building of bridges and tunnels by Bohermore and across the Corrib itself.

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The Corrib Drainage Scheme

Thu, Jul 03, 2014

The waterways of the city are of great engineering significance. Two major projects resulted in the waterways system which exists today. The first scheme was constructed between 1848 and 1858. Its primary purpose was to improve drainage thus reducing winter water levels and the areas of flooded land and also navigation, without any detrimental effect on the mills or fishery interests. So the Eglinton canal was built, the Claddagh Basin, the dredging of the Corrib, Gaol and Western rivers, tailraces, culverts, the weir and salmon pass and Steamer’s Quay at Woodquay

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Traditional Galway boats

Thu, Jun 26, 2014

“With her brown barked sail, andher hull black tar,Her forest of oak ribs and thelarchwood planks,The cavern smelling hold bulkedwith costly gear,”

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The boys’ club

Thu, Jun 19, 2014

Our Lady’s Boys’ Club was founded in 1940 by Fr Leonard Shiel SJ. The main object of the club was “To provide for the relief of poverty by helping kids in need, by promoting human services which would meet long term means, and by those means to encourage their development and give their lives a dignity which is their birthright.”

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Michael D elected to the Dáil for the first time

Thu, May 29, 2014

In 1937 County Galway was divided into two constituencies for election purposes, and from then until 1977, when Galway West became a four-seater, this constituency always voted in two Fianna Fáil TDs and one Fine Gael. In 1977 we voted in Bobby Molloy, Bill Loughnane, and John Martin Mannion of Fine Gael.

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From humble beginnings to a digital school of distinction

Thu, May 22, 2014

In 1961, Seán Keane, a parent of a child with an intellectual disability, wrote a letter to the Connacht Tribune. He was looking for what all parents want for their children, a chance for them to achieve their full potential whether they be disabled or not. He got no response, so two months later he wrote again, this time a reply to his own letter. The National Association of Mentally Handicapped in Ireland had just been established, it saw the letter and it asked the local Irish National Teachers Organisation in the shape of Mick Raftery and Mícheál McSweeney to call a meeting.

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Bunscoil students in the Jes, 1963

Thu, May 15, 2014

In 1962, the Jesuit community in Sea Road celebrated the centenary of their school, and the following year they celebrated the centenary of the Church of St Ignatius. Eamon de Valera, who was president of Ireland at the time, attended the church celebrations, and our photograph today shows some of the students of the bunscoil applauding his arrival.

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The Devon park under-14 team, 1967

Thu, May 08, 2014

The great strength of the Gaelic Athletic Association is that it has spread into virtually every street and small village in the country. Having players and supporters all over Ireland has made this organisation one of the most popular and one of the most powerful in the land.

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