O’Brien’s Bridge

Thu, Jan 20, 2022

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland was published in 1845 and stated that, “The old, or west bridge, over the main current of the Galway River, was built in 1342; and till the erection of the new bridge [the Salmon Weir Bridge, built 1819] was the only passage from the eastern districts of the county to the great peninsulated district of Iar-Connaught. In 1558, a gate and tower were erected at its west end; and afterwards, another gate and tower were erected in its centre; but these were long ago entirely demolished. About 42 years ago, the bridge was thoroughly repaired on its north side, and was pronounced by architects to be strong; but it soon experienced the effects of the neglect which are so generally apparent in the town; and in consequence of dilapidated parapets, narrow carriage-way and the utter want of side-pavements and of lights, it was, a few years ago, a rather hazardous means of crossing a deep and impetuous river on a dark night.”

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Ballad about Galway IRA man is revived and recorded

Tue, Jan 18, 2022

A century after it was composed, a ballad about a Galway IRA volunteer murdered by British Crown Forces during the War of Independence, has been formally performed and recorded.

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‘Was it wise to sign the Treaty?’

Thu, Jan 13, 2022

Was the Treaty the means that gave Ireland “the freedom to achieve freedom”, or was it a betrayal of the ideal that had been fought for since 1916 - an Irish Republic?

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The West Bridge, a brief history of the early years

Thu, Jan 13, 2022

The city of Galway was known in ancient times as ‘Streamstown’ because the Galway River divided into several small waterways in addition to the main river. The river was much more spread out then and was fordable in some places. The city was placed on the east side of the river, which acted as protection against the Irish families displaced by the Norman settlers who took over the area in the early 13th century. The walls of the city provided protection on the east and north side of the city and the various gates allowed access. The river was a barrier to trade with Iar-Chonnacht and so the merchant families began to feel the need to build a bridge to help expand trade, it would provide access to customers from the west, and also allow them to bring in their produce, fruit, vegetables, meat, hay, etc, to the various markets in town.

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Nollaig na mBan

Thu, Jan 06, 2022

Owing to liturgical differences, the Churches of the Eastern Roman Empire celebrated Christmas Day on January 6 while those in the Western Roman Empire Churches did so on December 25. In October, 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar as a correction to the Julian calendar, which meant Christmas Day was now celebrated on December 25, and “Old Christmas” on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. This feast day celebrates the manifestation of the Son of God on earth, and also marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

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The bells of St Nicholas

Thu, Dec 30, 2021

There are 10 bells in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, cast at seven different dates from 1590 to 1898. They were hung for ringing by Mr HS Persse when he gave two new bells in 1891. After some time it was seen that the vibration was putting a great stress on the old tower and ‘chiming’ was substituted for ‘ringing’. Unfortunately the method of chiming was not satisfactory and one after another of the bells cracked, until, in 1930, only three of the bells could be used, the Clock Bell being only used for the hour’s strike and the Clifton bell being out of tune.

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A Claddagh Christmas long ago

Thu, Dec 23, 2021

These were the memories of Christmas in the Claddagh long ago as recalled by Martin Geary of Father Griffin Road and published in this paper in 1979.

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The joyful chaos of the Christmas market

Thu, Dec 16, 2021

For many people, the Christmas market takes place in Eyre Square and involves a big wheel, hurdy-gurdies and German beer tents. For others, it is part of a Galway tradition that goes back some 800 years under the shadow of the old grey St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. This was the fruit and vegetable market which expanded greatly at this time of the year with the big influx of turkeys and geese for sale.

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Some aspects of Galway postal history

Thu, Dec 09, 2021

The idea for regular stages for carrying letters is as old as history itself. The regular use of the words “post” and “litir” in 15th century Irish manuscripts suggests that by that time a postal system was already in existence here.

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The Auxiliary, his lover, and a murder trial

Thu, Dec 09, 2021

A Galway made programme about Hori Morse, a member of the most feared killing machine the British unleashed in Ireland during the War of Independence - the Auxiliaries - is to be shown on TG4.

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One hundred and ninety five years of the Patrician Brothers in Galway

Thu, Dec 02, 2021

In 1790, the Rev Augustine Kirwan, Catholic warden of Galway, established the Galway Charity School near the Shambles Barracks for the education of poor boys. For a variety of reasons, the school failed and eventually, the Brothers of St Patrick, also known as the Patrician Brothers, an order founded in 1808, were invited to take charge.

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One hundred and ninety five years of the Patrician Brothers in Galway

Wed, Dec 01, 2021

In 1790, the Rev Augustine Kirwan, Catholic warden of Galway, established the Galway Charity School near the Shambles Barracks for the education of poor boys. For a variety of reasons, the school failed and eventually, the Brothers of St Patrick, also known as the Patrician Brothers, an order founded in 1808, were invited to take charge.

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The Railway Hotel

Thu, Nov 25, 2021

This ancient site on the southern end of what we now know as Eyre Square was occupied by a Knights Templars convent in the 13th century. By the 17th century Robert Martin had a large house on the site, but this was taken from him by the Cromwellians and given to Edward Eyre. The Eyre family held on to the property and on May 12, 1712, Edward Eyre, son of the above, presented the land in front of his house to the corporation as a place of recreation for the people of Galway. In 1827, a man named Atkinson built houses at this end of the Square and by 1845, the site was occupied by a block of tenements owned by Fr Peter Daly.

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The Browne Doorway

Thu, Nov 18, 2021

According to a Browne family tradition, the first Browne to settle in Ireland was Phillipus de Browne who in 1172 was appointed Governor of Wexford. He had three sons, one of whom, Walter, settled in County Galway, where his posterity still remains. By around the year 1300, the Brownes seemed to have settled in the Athenry area. They were one of the 14 families from the Irish lower classes who rose to become Galway’s prime merchant families, and who famously were known as The Tribes of Galway.

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The unveiling of a plaque to Fr Griffin

Thu, Nov 11, 2021

On November 14, 1920, a young curate, Father Michael Griffin, was lured from his house at No 2 Montpellier Terrace by the Black and Tans. Whatever ruse they used to get him out of the house, it was not to go on a sick call, as he did not take the holy oils or the Eucharist with him, but went peacefully. He went missing and volunteers and search parties were organised and combed the city and surrounding countryside looking for him. A week later his body was found buried in a bog at Cloch Sgoilte in Barna. There was an international outcry. He had worked in the parish of Rahoon since June 1918 and was hugely popular. He spoke in Irish to young and old, organised feiseanna, currach races, and donkey races on Silver Strand. He was very republican and was suspected by the Tans of having heard the last confession of the informer Patrick Joyce, which was probably the reason why they abducted him and tried to extract the identity of Joyce's killers from him.

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Renewed calls for a memorial bench for IRA man killed by British army on grounds of NUIG

Thu, Nov 04, 2021

Renewed calls have been made for a memorial bench for War of Independence IRA leader, Michael Moran, to be erected on the grounds of NUI Galway.

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Fr Michael Griffin Mass and commemoration

Thu, Nov 04, 2021

The Annual Memorial Mass and Commemoration in memory of Fr Michael Griffin will take place on Sunday November 21.

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Persse’s Galway Whiskey

Thu, Nov 04, 2021

The name Persse is synonymous with Galway, the first members of the family having arrived in this country with the Cromwellians and many of them making significant contributions to life here since, the best known being Isabella Augusta Persse who later became Lady Gregory.

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The Rockland Hotel

Thu, Oct 28, 2021

In 1923 Forster Park, the residence of Gerald Cloherty, clerk of the crown and peace for County Galway, sold his house to surgeon Michael O’Malley. In July 1935 the Connacht Tribune reported that the purchase of plots in front of the house recently occupied by Dr O’Malley, and the question of allowing the purchasers to proceed with the building immediately, or to force them to defer until the road along the Promenade had been widened, was the subject of a long discussion at the Urban District Council meeting.

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The Fishmarket

Wed, Oct 20, 2021

The village of the Claddagh was a unique collection of thatched houses arranged in a very random fashion, occupied by a few thousand souls. They had their own customs, spoke mainly in Irish, intermarried each other, had their own code of laws, and elected their own king. He was quite powerful in many respects and usually solved local disputes. Claddagh people rarely went outside the village to courts of justice. Virtually the entire male population was involved in fishing, but when they landed their catch, it was the women who took over. They were the members of the family who went out and sold the product.

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