Diving at Blackrock

Thu, Nov 07, 2019

Up until the mid-19th century, there was a cluster of thatched cottages at Blackrock. on the Night of the Big Wind [January 6, 1839] these were literally blown away by the ferocity of the storm and the tide and most of the occupants had to move inland. They were mostly fishermen and there had always been a tradition of fishing in the area. Blackrock was also a favourite place for men bathing, and in 1885, Mr Moon and some of his friends decided to place a springboard there. Unfortunately they did not have ‘planning permission’ from the owner of the land, Colonel O’Hara, and he had the board removed and made it difficult for the bathers to get to the rock at all. It ended up in court and the urban council stepped in and signed a lease giving a public right of way to the bathing area.

In April, 1904, the urban council sought tenders for the erection and maintenance of the springboard at Blackrock. This structure was quite primitive and consisted of a wooden walkway with the board at the end, all supported by some metal poles. It was eventually replaced by this more elaborate structure much further out into the water which we see in our photograph today (which was kindly given to us by Cliona Clarke). Swimming galas were held here, usually under poor conditions, the idea of a swimming pool with lanes was a pipe dream then.

The building of this tower on four levels which included platforms and springboards, introduced Galwegians to a new sport, diving. This was a sport, originally known as ‘plunging’, which was how one entered the water in a swimming race and which evolved into ‘fancy diving’ where the athlete could perform acrobatics while in the air. It became an Olympic sport in 1904. At Blackrock, diving competitions were usually held during swimming galas. In 1938, two American Diving Stars gave an exhibition during a club gala and attracted huge crowds. This may well have been the occasion on which this photograph was taken


‘I am bloody, raw, nerves hanging out all over the place.’

 Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were married in 1956.

If Sylvia Plath was hoping for some kind of rapprochement between herself and her husband Ted Hughes during their brief stay with the late Richard Murphy at Cleggan, Co Galway, in September 1962, she was to be quickly disillusioned. In fact she would ...


Danielle Holian’s brutal truth telling

Danielle Holian.

DANIELLE HOLIAN'S debut poetry collection, Beautifully Chaotic, is part of a boom in the popularity of poetry among young people – particularly young women – over the past few years. ...


O’Donnellan & Joyce nationwide property auction tomorrow

No 136 Dun na Coiribe.

O’Donnellan & Joyce auctioneers reports growing interest in its next round of auction properties which will go under the hammer tomorrow (Friday). With a very strong turnout at open viewings over the last four weeks and countless contract ...


New Volkswagen Golf goes on sale here next March

New VW Golf.

The Volkswagen Golf is the most successful European car for more than four decades with 35 million sold. Now, a new chapter in the history of this best-seller begins with the world premiere of the eighth generation model. ...


Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture announces new Business Club Programme members

Michelle Curley Atlantic Therapeutics with Angeline Keane and her son Oran attending the business networking afternoon tea hosted by the gHotel on Friday. 
Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture has announced the first companies to join the new Galway 2020 Business Club Membership Programme — which enables small to medium sized business to support next year’s European Capital of Culture. ...


St Thomas slight favourites but it's all to play for in repeat of last year's hurling final

Darragh Burke of St Thomas will need to be marshalled in the Salthill Hotel Galway Senior Hurling Championship replay against at Kenny Park, Athenry on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

For only the ninth time in the history of the competition, the finalists from a year ago will go head-to-head for the second consecutive year in the Galway senior hurling final as St Thomas and Liam Mellows renew acquaintances in Pearse Stadium on ...



Hair colour is one of the most exciting and versatile fashion accessories ensuring you look your best and can compete with the ever-changing trends. We at Barry’s Hair & Beauty Studio want you look and feel amazing with our ever-popular ...


Win a family ticket to Elf Town Galway

One lucky family can win tickets to meet Santa and his merry band of elves who are looking forward to returning to Galway and meeting all the wonderful boys and girls. ...

Services Available

Two jobs, same company – should I have a go?

Q: There’s a company I’d really like to work for – two jobs that interest me have recently been advertised there. They even have the same closing date. Should I go for one or would it be a good idea to apply for both? (EC, email). ...


Page generated in 0.0631 seconds.