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BY DECLAN VARLEY AND DAWN MCGOLDRICK
Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys. It is the lifeblood of every conversation. There is nothing juicier than the prospect of being told gossip that you can then trade for some more at a later stage. Gossip is the unedited bit of conversation.
I have written before about the woeful lack of ambulances that serviced the old Central Hospital, especially in the 1930s. That shortage became acute during the war. Because of the severe rationing of petrol, and the unavailability of spare parts, for a long period only two ambulances were available for the whole county. As they were frequently on the road simultaneously there was no reserve vehicle to answer any emergency.
An interesting number of medical institutions were established in Galway in the 20th century. In 1908 the Port Sanitary Intercepting Hospital was built near the docks opposite Forthill Cemetery as quarantine for any suspected cases of cholera or smallpox that might have come in on board ship. It cost £1,000, had 20 beds, and happily it was never needed for its primary purpose and only ever housed three patients. It burnt down in 1966.
AS WWII draws to a close, Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor, comes to the aid of a group of nuns, many of whom have been violated by Soviet soldiers on their march west to Berlin.
A “ridiculous situation” is how a Galway TD has characterised the “consistent delays in building a new health centre” on Inishbofin island, which has seen progress on the “urgently needed” facility halted for nearly a decade.
A "ridiculous situation" is how a Galway TD has characterised the "consistent delays in building a new health centre" on Inishbofin island, which has seen progress on the "urgently needed" facility halted for nearly a decade.
Two remarkable Galway people, Conor O’Malley and Sal Joyce, grew up in the Maam Valley, Connemara, in the closing years of the 19th century. Although they were cousins, they probably never met until they were both doctors working side by side in the Galway Central Hospital, on Prospect Hill, the forerunner of the present University Hospital, in the 1920s.
It was Leonard Martin’s idea to bring Santa Claus to Galway for the first time when he introduced him to his shop in Mainguard Street. It was such a novelty that the mayor, Joe Costelloe, came formally to the shop to welcome Santa and shake his hand. Leonard Martin’s shop (where St Anthony’s Credit Union is today) opened in 1941. For most of the year it was largely a hardware shop but at Christmas it became a toyshop exclusively. The man who played Santa Claus was a war veteran named Jack Kerr.
Plans are on schedule to complete upgrades in and return patients to St Vincent’s Care Centre by March, 2017.