Search Results for 'Irish Folklore Commission'

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The nailer forge

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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.

A Galway tradition

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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.”

The crane at Woodquay

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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.

Taking the pulse of a people....

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Part II

While Europe prepares for war, Galway dances the Lindy Hop!

Charles Lindberg made his famous non-stop flight from the US to Europe in May 1927. A young pilot of 25 years, he flew from New York to Paris, on a plane christened The Spirit of St Louis, and his achievement was celebrated across the world. Even on the dance floor!

Christmas in Mayo, one hundred years ago

This is it, the last Friday before Christmas. Just two days to go, and no doubt you are busy completing Christmas time chores like whitewashing your house or making a three branched tallow candle. The way we celebrate, observe or mark Christmas has changed and will continue to change. That is not a criticism of modern life, that is life. Traditions and customs evolve, they always have done, they always will. How did you mark St Martin’s Day on November 11 last? Did you kill a rooster and sprinkle the four corners of your house with its blood to keep all danger and trouble away? Rightly considered bizarre today, but that was a custom in Mayo some 100 years ago. Recognising that those long established traditions were in danger of being forgotten to an albeit slowly modernising Ireland, the Irish Folklore Commission developed a recording scheme that ran between 1937 and 1938 and which invited Irish Free State primary schoolchildren to compile and submit folklore from their local area. The children responded in their tens of thousands with folktales, customs and crafts, gleaned from their extended families and written down by their own hands. Thankfully, schoolchildren from across Mayo participated and their returns document our county’s not too distant Christmas beliefs and practices. 

 

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