There was no problem parking on Mainguard Street when this turn of the century photograph was taken. The building to the right was O’Connor’s confectioners and tearooms. They obviously sold newspapers there as well and there was a rate collector’s office in part of the premises. The building was later taken over as a news agency by Mick Holland until it and several others along the street were destroyed in a disastrous fire in May 1967.
Next door was Heavey’s pub, the Dublin Bar. They had a grocery in front which specialized in tea, “Our tea perfumes the mouth and quenches the thirst. Its digestive qualities are beyond praise. It is accepted by even the pussyfoot.” I am not quite sure what they have hanging outside the door. The bar was in behind on the Church Street side and they were also whiskey blenders. This pub was later taken over by Joe Magliocco and he changed the name to The Genoa. For a while he made his own ice cream, but eventually he concentrated on the bar business, emphasising family trade. He created the first cocktail lounge in Galway. He had an early morning licence for market days. After the fire, the premises was known as Trigger Martin’s and today is called Tigh Cóilí.
The next complex was known as the Connaught Buildings and was established by Bartley Connolly in 1861. He was a ‘direct wine importer and spirit merchant’, had a family grocery and Italian warehousemen. “Our stock of old bottled ports and clarets will be found unequalled, hundreds of dozens being in the bottle for over a quarter of a century.” The branches of his business were listed as ‘The Castle, Eyre Square and Forster St’, Carlyle Buildings at Bridge Street and Cross Street, and at Salthill House, Salthill. By the time this photograph was taken, Connolly’s was closed and the ground floor was divided into a number of units, one was vacant but you went through it to get to Hanley’s dressmakers upstairs, Joyce’s which sold suit lengths, Fallon’s electrical, Kelly’s grocery, and Warner’s flower shop.
Later it was divided into three units, Johnny O’Donnell’s Connaught Pharmacy, O’Neills (The Boot King ), and Raftery’s hardware shop.
The premises where Colleran’s butchers shop is today was occupied by Paddy O’Gorman who was a barber with an undertaking business. The gable corner you see next door was Cunningham’s fruit shop. You may be able to make out large billboards at the corner of what is now St Patrick’s School.