Shop Street, 1903

This was Shop Street, Galway’s main street, decorated for the visit of Edward VII in 1903. The poles along the footpath were especially erected to carry bunting and decorations and many buildings had their own flags and other forms of decoration. It was a big occasion in the city. The prince came into the station on the railway from Clifden, was taken by horse and carriage around the Square, through the streets, and around by Raven Terrace and back to the Docks where his royal yacht was waiting.

Out of picture on the right was Donnellan’s Shop, “The only agent in the west of Ireland for the sale of the gramophone”. It was also agent for “The celebrated H.S. Corsets, thoroughly stylish, most serviceably constructed, most reasonably priced”. Next door was Commins and Greaney Ironmongery and Hardware, "Our grass and clover seeds cannot be excelled, crushed linseed fresh every week".

Beside that was Brennan’s Drapery with the shawls outside; Mr Brennan had recently announced that “Having secured the services of a first-class dressmaker of long experience, I can assure my customers that they can have their dresses properly made and turned out to their satisfaction with the least possible delay”.

Next door was Carney’s Pub and bun shop, then Hardiman’s, another branch of Brennan’s, Talbot’s Saddlery, Mullins’ Butchers, then Tyler’s shoe shop – “Our boots and shoes are the best and time has proved it. The testimony of thousands upon thousands of customers say so”. Toner’s betting shop, which was also a barber’s, was next, then Johnny Egan’s Pork Butchers. The River Plate Frozen Meat Company occupied the end building at the corner of Abbeygate Street. On the opposite corner you can see part of a pub called ‘Maggie Murphy’s Home’ where Powell’s is today.

There were a number of archways or ‘entries’ on the street, each one led into a little courtyard at the back of these shops. These courtyards usually housed stables or tenements. The first one was next to Brennan’s. There was another between Carney’s and Hardiman’s, and finally there was on just this side of Mullins’ shop set into a white-fronted façade. This latter led into a small tenement square that was known as “The Fox and Hounds”. A local character known only as “The Curse O’ God” lived at the entrance for a long time.


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