O’Toole’s house in the Claddagh

Thu, Mar 26, 2009

The house with the chairs outside was O’Toole’s near the top of Rope Walk in the Claddagh. The photograph was taken c1925. It was obviously a fine day because of the chairs being left out for people to sit in the sun. Beside them you can see a washing tub, and on the front of the house to the right, there is some washing hanging out to dry. Occasional geese can be seen sunning themselves. These were typical Claddagh homes before the village was knocked down and rebuilt.

Read more ...

Anthony Ryan’s, a one-hundred-year-old family business

Thu, Mar 19, 2009

Anthony Ryan came to Galway from Craughwell to work as an accountant in Donnellan’s hardware shop at number 16, Shop Street. While he was there a new apprentice named Katherine Morrisson from Drumfin in County Sligo came to work there. They started going out together and later married. They decided to set up their own business and they managed to lease number 18 Shop Street.

Read more ...

Advertisement

The Glynn Cup, 50 years on

Thu, Mar 12, 2009

Johnny Glynn was only 46 when he died on January 10 1959, midway through his term as president of the Irish Rugby Football Union. He was a director of Glynn’s famous fancy goods and toy shop on William Street (where you could buy tickets for rugby internationals). He was educated at the Bish, played rugby for Galwegians and Connacht (12 caps), became a well known referee, served in various offices including president of his club, and dedicated himself to the advancement of the game of rugby in Connacht. He was a modest man who preferred to work away in the background and demanded only that there be no departure from the spirit of the game, no lapse from the fundamental decency of rugby football.

Read more ...

Of bishops and Claddagh rings

Thu, Mar 05, 2009

This photograph was taken exactly 100 years ago during the installation of the sixth Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora since the foundation of the diocese. This was Bishop O’Dea, who was in the palace until 1923. There are elaborate and decorative floral arches across Williamsgate Street for the occasion and a banner that says “Long Live our Bishop”. There are a large number of RIC men in evidence, though they are not keeping much of a shape on the large crowd who are following the bishop. He is simply walking under the canopy and is not carrying the Blessed Sacrament. It is hard to know where the procession was going (The Pro-Cathedral ?) and where it was coming from. The flower girls were probably following a group of priests. Notice the tram tracks and the fact that all of the shops seem to be closed.

The ‘Dublin Time’ on Dillon’s clock is twenty to one. Dillon’s have always been associated with the Claddagh ring, which was first designed by a Richard Joyce. He had been on his way to the West Indies when he was captured by Algerian corsairs and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith who trained him. He was obviously very good because when he was given his freedom in 1689, he was offered many inducements to stay. Happily for us, he returned to Galway and set up as a goldsmith. The Claddagh ring motif of the two linked hands holding the heart which is surmounted by a crown is attributed to him. It was widely used in the Claddagh as a ‘love’ ring or an engagement ring which gave it its name. It became internationally popular towards the end of the 19th century, while being much loved by Galwegians. It is the crown on the heart which makes this ring unique. There are a number of variations of the motif which probably derives from ‘FedeRings’ which were a very popular tradition in the Mediterranean region in ancient times.

Read more ...

The Connacht Tribune, one hundred years

Thu, Feb 26, 2009

The first issue of the Connacht Tribune was published on May 22, 1909. The newspaper was housed in Market Street, originally known as North Street (the Tribune side was known as North Street West). We know from the 1651 map that the site it occupied was originally part of the Athy Castle, also the castle belonging to the French family and part of the convent occupied by the Poor Clares. There was an underground passage from the convent running under Market Street and branching underground to St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. This enabled the nuns who were and are an enclosed order, to attend services in the church, and to use the tunnel as a hiding place in times of persecution.

Read more ...

Thirty years of Renmore fun and entertainment

Thu, Feb 19, 2009

In the 1970s Renmore was a fast growing suburb with many young families moving in. There were very few facilities in the area at the time. The school assembly hall was the only social centre and it was there, in the tiny kitchen, that Sean O’Malley suggested to his team mates in the local badminton club they might consider having a parish pantomime. They agreed. A group was formed and they drew up a mission statement — “To foster, encourage and assist theatrical, cultural, and artistic activities in the Renmore community, but also throughout Galway and its environs, and in so doing, to assist whatever charitable causes are deemed appropriate by the committee.”

Read more ...

Russia had its eye on Galway

Thu, Feb 19, 2009

If anyone thought that all a country need do to preserve its freedom when its neighbours are at war is to proclaim its neutrality, then they have only to look hard at what happened to several European countries at the beginning of World War II. Ladies and gentleman of the whinge brigade, neutrality isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

Read more ...

A forgotten night at Galway Docks

Thu, Feb 12, 2009

When Christy Moore sings his well known song, “Viva la Quinta Brigada”, in honour of those who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War one of his sardonic verses includes the lines:

Read more ...

Fuel problems during ‘the Emergency’

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Because merchant ships were regarded as targets during World War II, the island of Ireland was, to an extent, cut off from the rest of the world, and many products that would normally have been freely available became scarce. Rationing was introduced and each household was given a ration book. Basic foodstuffs such as bread, butter, flour, wheatmeal, sugar, and tea were sold in small amounts... tea was reduced to a half ounce per person per week, which represented hardship for many. There was a black market for this and many other ‘luxuries’, while others tried making their own substitutes like dandelion tea or carrot tea. Some would recycle the tea leaves by taking them from the teapot, drying them, and reusing them. Necessity became the mother of invention.

Read more ...

St Nicholas’ Parochial School, a brief history

Thu, Jan 08, 2009

The Church of Ireland school of the Galway parish of St Nicholas opened its doors on July 12 1926, next door to the Town Hall and opposite the Courthouse. This marked a new departure for the primary education of Protestant children in Galway but it also marked the end of a long and sometimes acrimonious struggle for multi-denominational primary education in Galway.

Read more ...

Galway Rovers soccer teams

Tue, Dec 30, 2008

I am not sure when the game of soccer was first played competitively in Galway or who were the first teams. It seems to have been a popular sport in the Claddagh. In the early 1930s a team called Claddagh Rangers were playing senior soccer which is the equivalent of League of Ireland today. Another team from the area around that time was Old Claddonians, but the club we are concerned with today is Galway Rovers. In their early days, they had no clubhouse, though the Old Malt pub and the Atlanta Hotel could be described as hangouts. One of their earliest teams won the Celtic Shield in 1933.

Read more ...

Galway Rovers soccer teams

Tue, Dec 23, 2008

I am not sure when the game of soccer was first played competitively in Galway or who were the first teams. It seems to have been a popular sport in the Claddagh. In the early 1930s a team called Claddagh Rangers were playing senior soccer which is the equivalent of League of Ireland today. Another team from the area around that time was Old Claddonians, but the club we are concerned with today is Galway Rovers. In their early days, they had no clubhouse, though the Old Malt pub and the Atlanta Hotel could be described as hangouts. One of their earliest teams, as we see in photograph 1, won the Celtic Shield in 1933.

Read more ...

The Claddagh — the old and the new

Thu, Dec 18, 2008

This photograph was taken in the 1930s and illustrates the huge difference between the old thatched cottages in the Claddagh and the new houses that were being built to replace them. Even though the area was a building site with the new houses going up, people were obviously still living in the old houses if we are to judge from the line of washing we see hanging on the gable in the centre. The two thatched roofs look as if they are about to cave in. The woman and child we see on the right look very forlorn... could it be that their house was the next to be knocked and cleared? It may have been small and not very roomy, but it was home, probably to a number of generations of the family, so it cannot have been easy to see it flattened.

Read more ...

The Claddagh — the old and the new

Thu, Dec 18, 2008

This photograph was taken in the 1930s and illustrates the huge difference between the old thatched cottages in the Claddagh and the new houses that were being built to replace them. Even though the area was a building site with the new houses going up, people were obviously still living in the old houses if we are to judge from the line of washing we see hanging on the gable in the centre. The two thatched roofs look as if they are about to cave in. The woman and child we see on the right look very forlorn... could it be that their house was the next to be knocked and cleared? It may have been small and not very roomy, but it was home, probably to a number of generations of the family, so it cannot have been easy to see it flattened.

Read more ...

Scoil Fhursa, seachtú cúig bliain ag fás

Thu, Dec 11, 2008

The Irish Church Missions was the missionary wing of the United Church of England and Ireland. They were a very rich organisation and at the height of their endeavours, had an income of between £30,000 and £40,000 a year in this country alone. They first came to the west of Ireland, to Clifden, in 1849. Soon after a school was established in Galway, where a child might be given an evening meal and a night’s lodging after his attending a Bible class. They had two houses in Merchants Road, one named ‘The Dover School’.

Read more ...

Galway Rowing Club, one hundred years

Thu, Dec 04, 2008

Competitive rowing had been taking place on the Corrib for many years when the Ancient Order of Hibernians decided to form a new club in 1910. They got local contractor Walter Flaherty (who had already built the Corrib Club) to build a wooden clubhouse on the site of the present Galway Rowing Club. It was tarred each year up to 1970 in order to preserve the wood, and so it became known as ‘the Blackening Box’. In that year also there was a dispute in Saint Patrick’s Rowing Club and a number of oarsmen left and joined the new club.

Read more ...

The making of Alfred The Great

Thu, Nov 27, 2008

In 1968 MGM came to Galway to make a ‘swords and sandals’ epic film called Alfred the Great. A lot of preparatory work had gone into selecting three main locations in Kilchreest, Ross Lake, and Knockma, each of which encompassed 90 acres. A vast amount of money was spent on the exact replication of every aspect of the ninth century it depicted, turning some corners of County Galway into Wessex, including etching a 200-feet long white horse into the hill at Knockma.

Read more ...

Seoda...Seoda...Seoda

Thu, Nov 20, 2008

In 1951 Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann was set up to promote traditional Irish music. The first Galway branch was formed about 1965 and initially they held a committee meeting every week. Then somebody suggested they have a session every week instead, and this they did, in Martin Forde’s Eagle Bar in William Street West. Mind you, the session could not start until Mrs Forde had finished watching The Fugitive on television. These sessions became hugely popular at a time when very few pubs in Galway allowed live traditional music.

Read more ...

From crossroads dances to the internet

Thu, Nov 13, 2008

Gerry Cahill was born in Caherlistrane and started playing music from the age of eight..... first the melodeon, then the double row accordion, and later the piano accordion. He was a great admirer of musicians like Will Starr and Jimmy Shand. He soon developed a distinctive style of his own and he was very much in demand at house dances and roadside dances, which were very common at the time.

Read more ...

E-paper

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

 

Page generated in 0.0952 seconds.