IN 1851, a sub-post office opened in Salthill where the Bal pub is today. In 1859, Salthill was brought within the town postal area. In those early days the post was delivered on foot. The first bicycle postal delivery was in 1901. From 1914 to 1926, Michael O’Flaherty of Dominick Street and Mike Ruane of Henry Street had a horse and van which they used to deliver letter and parcel post to the Salthill area.
This building was known as Grove View in 1880, which tells us that there were a lot of trees across the road behind the landlord’s (O’Hara’s ) wall, where the Galleon and the church are today. The building was the site of Salthill Post Office for most of the last century. For a long time it was run by Miss Dolan, a very popular and efficient lady. There is an Italian restaurant there now and the little alleyway running up the side is still there, though it is gated today.
In 1912, the Galway Telephone Exchange had 17 subscribers and a call office, with a sub-exchange in Salthill which had six subscribers and a call office. The post office took it over on October 1, 1912, and as a result, the Salthill exchange was transferred to Salthill Post Office. The postmistress, Louisa J Tonry, was granted an allowance of £6 for an exchange attendant.
In the early days of the telephone, there was a handle on the phone which one had to wind in order to be put through to the exchange. You then gave the exchange the number you were looking for and they would put you through. There was often the suspicion that the people in the exchange were eavesdropping on the call.
The telephone number for Salthill Post Office was Salthill 10. Salthill 2 was the number of PJ Boland of Glenarde House; number 3 was that of Mr Hynes, the timber merchant from Blackrock House; Dr WA Sandys in The Crescent was number 4; a retired naval captain named Henry Chevalier Rigand who lived at The Croft, Taylor’s Hill, was 5; number 6 was W Connolly, Knocknacarra; Miss Galbraith of Dalysfort House was 7; and James O’Hara of Lenaboy Castle was number 8.
Salthill Post Office eventually moved from this location to Feeney’s Supermarket near the Warwick Hotel, and later it moved again to its present location at the corner of Beach Avenue. It is due, sometime in the future, to move to O’Connor’s supermarket.