The Monastery School

Thu, Apr 26, 2018

The establishment by the Patrician Brothers of a school for boys would have a fundamental influence on education in Galway for about 130 years. The school was set up by Brothers Paul O’Connor and James Walsh on a site belonging to the Charity Free School which was formerly an army barracks, and it opened in January 1827. Three hundred boys attended on that day. The total funding available to the school was the sum of one shilling.

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Kirwan’s Lane c1965

Thu, Apr 19, 2018

In spite of the sunshine, this is a dreary 1960s photograph of Kirwan’s Lane which was originally taken by Derek Biddulph.

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Selling on the Prom

Thu, Apr 12, 2018

The first people to sell produce along the Promenade were women who carried buckets of cockles and mussels and sold them to tourists. They would sit on the concrete seats and announce their wares. I don’t know if they sang “Alive alive oh” in a Galway accent or not.

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Saint Anthony’s College

Thu, Apr 05, 2018

The Franciscans first came to Galway in 1296 and founded the Abbey. In 1483, a school of advanced theology was instituted there. When the Cromwellians invaded the city, the friars were expelled. In 1657, the friary was destroyed and the church was turned into a courthouse — the present courthouse stands on the same site. In 1660, a new church was erected on the present site of the Abbey. There were 13 friars there in 1766, and eight years later a novitiate was opened here. The present friary was built or rebuilt in 1820, and the present church opened c1836. It was renovated in the 1970s and became the first Franciscan parish in 1971.

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98’s — Under-16 Street League champions, 1968

Thu, Mar 29, 2018

In 1893, a Bohermore hurling club was affiliated to the County Board. There was a strong nationalist tradition in the area and so the club evolved into Bohermore 98’s in honour of the centenary of the 1798 rebellion. The guiding lights of the club were Jim Tonery, Paddy ‘Ham’ Ruffle, and John Crowe. The club forfeited a County Championship in 1903 when one of their players was sent off. The team protested at the injustice of the decision and walked off the pitch. Their clubhouse was in Bohermore on a site that was later occupied by “Monto’s Shop” and is today covered with townhouses.

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Fair day, Eyre Square, September 2, 1926

Thu, Mar 22, 2018

This photograph of a cattle fair on Eyre Square was taken looking toward the west. The buildings in the distance were, on the far left, Gilbey’s, drinks distributors which later moved premises to William Street; next to it was Webb’s Hotel. This was originally built in 1810 and was known as the Clanricarde Arms. It was later known as Kilroy’s Hotel, then Murphy’s, until it was taken over by Joe Delaney and he changed the name to The Imperial Hotel.

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Liptons in Galway

Thu, Mar 15, 2018

In 1871, Thomas Lipton from Glasgow used his savings to open his first shop. By the 1880s he had more than 200 shops. He was an entrepreneur, and when he realised that there was potential for growth in the market for tea, and that the product was too expensive, he went to Ceylon and bought his own tea plantation. He sold his tea at low prices in one pound, half pound, and quarter pound packets, and he advertised it very cleverly: “Direct from the Tea Gardens to the Teapot,” or, “Treat your Lips to a Cup Of Lipton’s Peko Tips Tea, two shillings and eight pence per pound.”

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Stop! This is The Bal

Thu, Mar 08, 2018

This pub was one of Salthill’s landmarks for over a century. It was a post office originally until Joe Crehan from Ballinasloe bought it at the end of the 19th century and converted it into a pub, grocery, and guest house. The name Ballinasloe House was quickly shortened in Salthill to ‘The Bal’. At the time Salthill village ran from here to Seapoint with a few houses further west.

One of his early advertisements boasted, “The first house you see entering Salthill and the last you want to forget.” He was a dab hand at PR, “This is the home of the Gaels. English spoken and understood if you cannot understand your native language.” “If you stay at the Bal, you will enjoy Salthill.” His greatest slogan was the one he painted on his gable end: “Stop! This is The Bal.” It is etched in the memory of generations of Salthillians. It was so effective that Mrs Scallan next door, where O’Connor’s is today, was forced to retaliate with “Don’t Stop! Keep going to Scallans, the Salthill House”.

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The ‘Green Grass’ in The Claddagh

Thu, Mar 01, 2018

This photograph of ‘The Green Grass’, also known as ‘The Big Grass’, in The Claddagh was taken on July 29, 1914. It was taken from roughly where the Claddagh Hall is today. There was a wide expanse of grass off to the left towards where South Park is today. In the early days parts of it were tidal, the tide would come in here in the form of a series of streams. In Peadar O’Dowd’s wonderful book Down By The Claddagh, there is an image of this area with a very large stream in the foreground. These streams were gradually filled in, thus creating the kind of surface we see in the photograph. There were occasional sandy patches visible on the grass.

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A Galway family history with global echoes

Tue, Feb 27, 2018

A FASCINATING documentary by Billy Murray premieres next week in Monivea and Nun’s Island Theatre. A Curious Burial Arrangement tells the story of cousins Rosamond and Kathleen Ffrench, last scions of the dynasty of Monivea Castle, interwoven with that of Billy’s mother Mary, who was a history teacher in Galway.

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Eamonn Deacy Park

Thu, Feb 22, 2018

The townland in which this park is situated is known as Terryland or Tirellan, derived from the Irish Tír Oileáin (the Land of the Islands) which was so named because the river divided into many streams, thus creating islands in the area. It is in the civil parish of St Nicholas in the Barony of Galway.

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The end of the old Claddagh

Thu, Feb 15, 2018

In 1812, there were 468 cabins or houses, all thatched, in The Claddagh. These were occupied by 50 families, totalling 1,050 males and 1,286 females. That was a lot of people and houses in a relatively small geographical area and could be described as a “clachan”, a large irregular group of houses clustered closely together. All of these houses were single storey buildings, only the two-storeyed Aran View House and the early 19th century coastguard houses were higher.

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Part of Forster Street, 1905

Thu, Feb 08, 2018

This photograph, taken from an old glass slide, shows some important personage in an escorted carriage leaving the Great Southern Hotel. There are some mounted liveried gentlemen in front and two RIC men on horseback behind the carriage, which is hidden by the RIC men. You can see a policeman on foot to the right of our picture.

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Seamount Nursing Home

Thu, Feb 01, 2018

A “to let” advertisement in a Galway newspaper in April 1860 promoted the fact that Seamount Villa contained a parlour, drawing room, six bedrooms, a kitchen, water closet, a coach house with some stabling, and a small garden. The grounds were nicely laid out and had an approach to the sea. George Fallon who lived at ‘The Baths’, Salthill, would show the place to prospective customers.

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Francis Corbett in his studio

Thu, Jan 25, 2018

Francis Corbett was a member of the well known business family who owned Corbett and Sons in Williamsgate Street. He was one of five siblings, one of whom, Gerard, went into the business. Francis also worked there but only for a short time, as he died relatively young in 1946. He was a talented artist, as were his brother Redmond and his sisters Lucy and Agnes. Francis was one of the founders of the Galway Art Club, and became its first treasurer.

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Fr Lally’s Street League under 14 champions, 1965

Thu, Jan 18, 2018

In 1881, Father Lally was made parish priest of Rahoon. At the time the parish was served by two churches, Bushypark and Barna, Dr McEvilly, Bishop of Galway was appointed as Archbishop of Tuam, and Father Lally was made Vicar Capitular of the Diocese in the interregnum until the appointment of a successor to Dr McEvilly. Dr McEvilly was aware that the very large parish of Rahoon had no central church so he gave Fr Lally money to start the process of erecting a new church beside the Presentation Convent. Fr Lally collected the funds and employed direct labour to build the church. The foundation stone of St Joseph’s was laid on April 22, 1882, and the church was consecrated on February 7, 1886.

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Will Galway beat Mayo?

Thu, Jan 11, 2018

The rivalry between Galway and Mayo is as old as the provincial championship itself. The Connacht GAA Council was actually founded on the same day that Galway and Mayo contested the first ‘official’ Connacht senior football final. That game was played in Claremorris in November 1902 and was won by Mayo. Galway played “with the wind and the incline” in the first half while the vast crowd agreed to “keep strictly outside the field of play”, something the organisers clearly regarded as an unexpected bonus.

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Liam Mellows, county champions

Thu, Jan 04, 2018

We know that hurling was played in the Bohermore area 200 years ago. Several different clubs operated around there at different times — Galway City, Bohermore 98s, College Road, Thomas Ashe, etc. Players would occasionally transfer from one club to another so it was natural for them to join the new club that was formed on February 11, 1933. The club was called Liam Mellows after the patriot who led the 1916 rebellion in Galway.

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The nailer forge

Thu, Dec 28, 2017

The Connaught Journal of July 1823 reported that Michael Walsh, the nailer of Bridge Street, was in great distress. He was described as being very poor, and though he worked hard, his life had been a struggle for some 12 years now because of a ‘disease of his leg’. The unfortunate man had to have the leg amputated and was now ‘reduced to extreme want’ as he was unable to work. The newspaper highlighted his predicament and hoped that the charitable and humane people of Galway would contribute to his support while he was recovering from the operation. So we know that the nailer was in business there some 200 years ago.

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Remembering Tom McHugh

Thu, Dec 21, 2017

This is the Galway football team that played Tyrone in the 1956 All-Ireland semifinal in Croke Park. They are, back row, left to right: Seán Purcell, Gerry Kirwan, Joe Young, Jack Kissane, Frank Evers, Mattie McDonagh, Tom McHugh, and Billy O’Neill. In front are Mick Greally, Tom ‘Pook’ Dillon, Sean Keely, Jack Mangan, Frank Stockwell, Jack Mahon, and Gerry Daly. The first score in the game was a brilliant point by Galway’s Tom McHugh. Galway won a thrilling close game that featured a high degree of sportsmanship, and went on to beat Cork in the final.

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