Now that the Leaving Certificate exams are about to start and the rowing season is in full swing, we thought to share the following story.
St Joseph’s secondary school rowing club first competed in 1932 when they beat St Patrick’s in the schoolboy fours. They soon became a force in rowing but in the early 1950s, the club was at a low ebb. They had no clubhouse, no equipment, and no coach.
The first rowing club to be set up on the river was Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club, and shortly afterwards the Commercial Club was founded. The inauguration of yet another club in 1882, The Royal Galway Yacht Club, provided further competition in rowing and yachting. It contributed to regattas locally by fielding crews, being included on committees, and other rowing activities, and it seems to have had a very strong yachting section.
It was situated on the corner of the Gaol River as you can see from our photograph which dates from c1890 and was given to us by the National Library.
The contrast between the Tuam workhouse and the vibrant colours, blue skies, and the smell of exotic food of New Orleans in the 1840s could not have been more dramatic. To the eyes, ears and senses of two young Galway children it must have been jaw-dropping.
New Orleans, Louisiana, America’s fourth largest city after New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, literally roared with movement and energy. It was a city where all the clichés were true. From the refined accents of the cultured descendants of the original French and Spanish settlers, to the rough American riverboat gamblers, free and slave Negroes, Creoles ( a mixture of French and Spanish), and of course other immigrants from Europe including Germans, English and Italians. The city heaved with noise and humanity.