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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Galway hurlers, the 1950 team

Thu, Aug 31, 2017

Galway featured in the first All-Ireland hurling final in 1887 when they were beaten by Tipperary. Their first victory in a final came in 1924 when they won the 1923 decider. They played that day in blue and gold colours. They were known on other occasions to tog out in black and amber jerseys. In the 1930s the GAA decided that each county should adopt its own colours, and as UCG had won the Sigerson that year, and their captain was on the County senior team, it was decided that Galway would play from then on in maroon and white, the colours of UCG.

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Fifth class, St Pat’s

Thu, Aug 24, 2017

This being the time of the year when the children start school or go back to school, it prompts memories of our own days behind the desk, ‘the happiest days of our life’ as they are referred to.

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Bohermore pubs

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

This happy group of people were photographed in Doherty’s Pub in Bohermore in the 1960s. Those in the back row are, left to right: Kevin Molloy, Luke Doherty, Mrs Doherty, Jim Tierney, and Tom Turley. Second row: Kevin Doherty also known as ‘Doc’, John “Texas” McDonald, Tom Redmond, Joe McGuire, Frank Reilly, Frankie Reilly junior, Tommy Cahill, and Jimmy Nally. In front are Frank Cassidy, Water Lane (with the pint glass), Joe Fagan with the darts, and Jimmy Connolly.

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A Commercial Club excursion to Cong, 1915

Thu, Aug 10, 2017

The Commercial Rowing Club was set up in May 1875. The Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club had been in existence since 1864, but as it was the only such club on the river, there was a distinct lack of competition for its oarsmen. Commercial provided that competition.

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A historic Galway hurling team

Thu, Aug 03, 2017

“We are blessed with the most wonderful field game in the world. No sport is more skillful, more graceful, more revealing of those who play it, and nobody who has seen hurling played by its greatest exponents can be in any doubt what beauty is, or graciousness or courtesy either.

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The Fishmarket

Thu, Jul 27, 2017

It is a pity really that we cannot see this photograph in colour because what we are looking at must have been a wonderful colourful animated scene full of black shawls, patterned and coloured shawls, blue cloaks and red cloaks, white aprons, práiscíns, baskets, scibs, barrels, fisherwomen from The Claddagh, and customers from the town. Imagine the noisy competition between the sellers, the lively female eloquence, the haggling, “Fresh fish, Johnny Dory, lovely mackerel,” etc. It all sounds like great fun and very romantic, but of course it was vital for the Claddagh women who were trying to make a living, to make enough to support their families.

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Buttermilk Lane

Thu, Jul 20, 2017

At the time this photograph was taken about 100 years ago, Buttermilk Lane was made up of tenement buildings, some of which housed multiple families. For example, three families lived in Number 2 in 1911; three in Number 4; five in Number 6. There were people with nine different surnames in Number 7, and eight different surnames in Number 8.

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The Dyke Road

Thu, Jul 13, 2017

The Dyke Road was originally known as the Terryland Embankment. In 1847 a group known as The Corrib Development Company applied for compensation claiming they had spent a considerable sum constructing the embankment — at the time the river was prone to serious flooding. The Commissioner for Public Works took over possession of the works after giving evidence in reply to the claim for compensation. They pointed out that the embankment was partially built in 1839, but after the water had risen that winter, it had given way. The company carried out more works of reconstruction in 1840, but the flood waters burst it again. The river would flood on each occasion as far as Castlegar. The embankment was left unfinished until 1845 when the company tried once more but failed to retain the river. They were subsequently compensated. The building of the canal a few years later greatly alleviated the flooding problems.

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