Upper Abbeygate Street c1978

An old Galwegian gave us this photograph of Upper Abbeygate Street as seen from the corner of Market Street. In the late 1940s the building we see down at the end on the corner of Mary Street was Tommy Hopkins, victuallers. Opposite that, at the time, at the end of Abbeygate Street was Mrs Kemple’s house. Next door was Paul Heaney’s butcher shop; Moloney’s sweet shop; Barrett’s, Mrs Barrett had a cake making business; the Shapiros lived next door, and beside their house was an archway that led in to the back of the house; Ellie Carter and her brother were next; then Miko Cunningham’s sweet shop where he sold groceries as well. The next building was known as Carter’s Halls and among those who lived there were Mick Tuite, who was known only as ‘Shoots’, the Haynes family, Mary Anne O’Toole, Michael Melia, Chrissie Melia, Rose Anne Melia (these were Mary Anne’s children ), Anthony Morris, Julia Murphy, Lizzie Hehir, Martin Cunniss, and Molly Hosty and her daughter.

The O’Halloran family lived next door and beside them was the Galway Observer newspaper works. This weekly paper came out on a Thursday and was founded by Alexander Scott and was later run by John, RoseAnn, and Tilly Scott. One of John’s sisters (or maybe both ) was said to be the first female compositor. John’s nephew, John Robinson, later worked for the Connacht Tribune.

Hanley’s Fashion House was next, over which you can see a sign for “A Cut Above”, a unisex hair salon. This building was originally O’Dea’s Pub.

Next door (out of picture ) was Pat Griffin’s forge. He was known as “Lá Garbh” because that was how he always greeted people on the street, no matter what the weather was like. His family home was beside the forge. Beside that was Madge O’Connor’s ; Lizzie Darcy who had a lodging house and served meals; Naughton’s barber shop; Joe Smith’s tailor shop; the Ridge family; Next door was Heaney’s entry where Jim and Tom Butler lived; the Glynn family; Tim and Nancy Heaney and family; and Raymond Kelly and family.

The building on the corner of Market Street and Abbeygate Street was occupied by Mrs Valentine; next on Abbeygate Street was the side entrance to Valentine’s; then the Sweeney family; Lily Lynch’s Betting Office and Maggie Barton-Woodward; the Connaire family; the McCormack family; Mrs Noonan and her daughter Betty; Mrs O’Brien; James Lee’s Flour Stores; the Misses O’Boyle’s pub; and Nalty’s Tea Rooms.

The Old Galway Society is hosting a lecture this evening in the Victoria Hotel at 7.30pm, an earlier time than usual. The title is “Nature in Garden and Countryside in Winter” and it will be given by Elizabeth Byrnes. All are welcome.

On Monday next at 8pm, the Galway Archaeological & Historical Society lecture will be on “Friars of the Mendicant Orders in Medieval Connacht”. It will be presented by Professor Tadhg O’Keeffe and again, all are welcome.


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