The sinking of the Neptune

Thu, Dec 14, 2017

This photograph was taken about 100 years ago and shows several boats from the Claddagh fleet moored at the quayside.

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The sweets of our childhood

Thu, Dec 07, 2017

A sweet is defined as having a taste of sugar or honey. It is not bitter or sour, but is pleasingly fragrant and agreeable. It is strange that while the taste never lingers too long, the memory of that taste can stay with you for life, particularly if it was one of the favourite sweets of your childhood. The sweet shops of yesteryear had a special smell, an aroma of temptation which you got as you went through the door. Even to look in the shop window was to make an imaginative journey of the various tastes that were on display. Our photograph today, which was taken about 40 years ago by Marja Van Kampen, will tick memory boxes for many people. The mouthwatering display was in Miko Cunningham’s shop window in Upper Abbeygate Street.

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Humble Works for Humble People

Thu, Nov 30, 2017

Our illustration today is of the inner part of Galway Bay and shows the piers and harbours therein. It is one of the images in a new book entitled Humble Works for Humble People written by Noel Wilkins, a retired professor of zoology who has a number of titles to his name already, many of them dealing with County Galway. This book explores the history of the fishery piers and harbours of County Galway and north Clare. It is a scholarly but eminently readable testament to these piers as feats of engineering, but it also gives us a wonderful account of the human aspect that shadowed their construction, and finally it describes beautifully the maritime activities that gave life to the west coast — kelp making, fishing, turf distribution, and sea-borne trade.

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A Galway tradition

Thu, Nov 23, 2017

In Hely Dutton’s Survey of Galway in 1824, he reported; “The vegetable market near the Main Guard is generally well supplied, and at reasonable rates; all kinds come to the market washed, by which any imperfection is easily detected. The cabbage raised near the sea on seaweed is particularly delicious; those who have been used to those cultivated on ground highly manured cannot form any idea of the difference. There are also, in season, peaches, strawberries, gooseberries, apples, pears etc.”

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Cherishing all the children equally?

Thu, Nov 23, 2017

Back in the 1960s my late mother had a two-door Morris Mini-Minor. The mini, about the size of a dog-kennel on wheels, was our family car for years (dad drove a van used for deliveries). I think the mini won the Monte Carlo Rally at one time and it became famous. Towards the end of the decade it actually became cool to have a Mini-Minor after the film The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine. But my brother and I had long legs, and the car became a torture chamber on long journeys. We hated the car. There was little room for us and later for my sister, and all her stuff, the dog (who went ballistic if he saw another dog on the street), the weekly shopping, and all the detritus that family cars gather.

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Pádraic Ó Conaire: man and monument

Thu, Nov 16, 2017

On October 6 1928, writer, journalist, teacher, and raconteur Pádraic Ó Conaire died in tragic poverty in Richmond Hospital, Dublin, at the age of 46. Since the turn of the century he had established himself as one of the leading lights of the Gaelic Revival, an innovative writer who pioneered the short story in Irish.

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Under 16 Bish

Thu, Nov 16, 2017

This was the team representing St Joseph’s College which won the Rosebowl Cup in 1968.

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The crane at Woodquay

Thu, Nov 09, 2017

In the early 19th century, most of the area we see in our photograph would have been under water. Woodquay was so called because of the 150 feet wooden quay that ran the length of it. It was a kind of second docks for the city, attracting a lot of commercial traffic down the river. The Corrib Drainage Scheme in 1852 began to change the face of the space we are looking at, and later, when Steamer’s Quay was built, the area was gradually filled in and reclaimed.

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Galway Grammar School, 1903

Thu, Nov 02, 2017

Galway Grammar School was a Protestant institution established under the Erasmus Smith Trust in 1669. It opened around 1675 and has been located at College Road since 1815. The 1950/51 school year was an eventful one when, in November of that year, a wing of the school was gutted by fire, happily, there was no danger of loss of life. Four months later a dormitory ceiling collapsed. The headmaster, George Coughlan, said that the collapse was caused by a 24 foot beam being charred through by a chimney fire. The beam brought down two other beams and half the ceiling. In many old buildings, beams went into chimney flues and successive chimney fires charred them until they came down. Neither incident occasioned an interruption in the school routine.

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Looking west on Shop Street, c120 years ago

Thu, Oct 26, 2017

The first thing you notice about this image is the state of the street surface with its animal droppings and puddles. You had to be careful crossing the street, which is why they laid down cobbles between footpaths, you can see them at the entrance to Church Lane and Churchyard Street.

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Galway folklore

Thu, Oct 19, 2017

More than 300 primary school teachers attended a conference in Tuam in 1937, 80 years ago tomorrow, to launch the Schools Folklore Collection in Galway County. This was a scheme which invited senior primary pupils, under direction, to go to the oldest person in their community or their grandparents to collect folklore and folk life traditions relating to their own area. Caitríona Hastings has just published a book in which she has selected material from this project which was gathered by pupils of 14 schools in Galway and environs. They are Menlo NS, Castlegar NS, Carrowbrowne NS, Barna, Bushypark, Presentation Convent, Convent of Mercy NS, Claddagh NS (boys), Claddagh (girls), St Brendan’s NS, Claregalway (boys), Claregalway (girls), Oranmore (boys), and Oranmore Convent.

The result is a wonderful collection of prose and poems, in English and Irish, written in simple child-like language, covering subjects such as children’s games, leprechauns, ghosts, hidden pots of gold, prayers, proverbs, riddles, cures, the fairies, superstitions, place names, holy wells, traditional food, churning, rush candles, weather lore, the care of the feet. This last item was particularly important as most children went barefoot for at least half of the year.

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Madden’s Nurseries

Thu, Oct 12, 2017

Michael Madden came to Taylor’s Hill from the Ballinasloe area c1898. His family had been in the nursery business there since the 1830s, and in Laurencetown before that again. He leased the land in Taylor’s Hill from Colonel Courtney. In 1902, his brother James and his wife Elizabeth came to live there also, and a few years later, on Michael’s death, they took over the running of the nurseries.

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‘Oh steer my bark to Erin’s Isle...’

Thu, Oct 12, 2017

On Friday evening towards the end of the Easter Rising, there was one further horrific incident that convined Padraic Pearse that surrender, and quickly, was the only course open to the rebels.

There was a chaotic retreat from the burning GPO, with surrounding streets ablaze, and British soldiers firing from barricades. The streets around the centre of Dublin were death traps. Yet even while artillery shells ripped through buildings, and exploded into shards of metal, a group of men and two women, some carrying a wounded man on a stretcher, ran towards Moore Street, which was out of the immediate battle zone.

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Madden’s Nurseries

Thu, Oct 12, 2017

Michael Madden came to Taylor’s Hill from the Ballinasloe area c1898. His family had been in the nursery business there since the 1830s, and in Laurencetown before that again. He leased the land in Taylor’s Hill from Colonel Courtney. In 1902, his brother James and his wife Elizabeth came to live there also, and a few years later, on Michael’s death, they took over the running of the nurseries.

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The Galway City Challenge Hurling Cup 1920

Thu, Oct 05, 2017

As nationalist sentiment was rising in the early years of the last century, a new generation of GAA officials emerged who were zealous in their belief in the transformative power of the GAA and they saw themselves as engaged in a project of national liberation. Some GAA tournaments were staged as part of a pro-Boer campaign. Police reports noted: “The ambition it seems to get hold of the youth of the country and educate them in rebellious and seditious ideas,” a somewhat hysterical interpretation of the GAA ban on foreign games.

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Minutes of an historic meeting

Thu, Sep 28, 2017

Our illustration today is of the minutes of the inaugural meeting of the Galway city branch of Sinn Féin which was held in Keane’s Hotel, Eyre Square, on February 15, 1907. T Breathnach was in the chair.

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The Lion’s Tower

Thu, Sep 21, 2017

The Lion’s Tower was part of the old city wall. In the last century, it was situated on Eglinton Street between the Garda Barracks and the Savoy Cinema. Our photograph today, which we show you courtesy of the Board of Works, dates from about 1950 and shows the tower as seen from the yard beside the barracks.

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Salerno class of 1987

Thu, Sep 14, 2017

In 1962, the Sisters of Jesus and Mary decided to set up a special class in their national school, Scoil Íde, in Árd na Mara. This class was known as ‘secondary tops’ and was designed to move the girls into secondary level. On September 1, 1965, the nuns opened a new secondary school in a house named ‘Salerno’ on Revagh Road, Rockbarton. They had 65 pupils. The school grew in popularity, the population increased, and there was no room for expansion, so the nuns found a new site on Threadneedle Road and moved into a brand new building there in 1981.

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Mainguard Street

Thu, Sep 07, 2017

There was no problem parking on Mainguard Street when this turn of the century photograph was taken. The building to the right was O’Connor’s confectioners and tearooms. They obviously sold newspapers there as well and there was a rate collector’s office in part of the premises. The building was later taken over as a news agency by Mick Holland until it and several others along the street were destroyed in a disastrous fire in May 1967.

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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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