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‘Laughter and fun never deserted them’.

Thu, Sep 26, 2019

Early on Easter Monday morning, April 24 1916, the Galway Volunteers sprang into action. It was a chaotic beginning to the rebellion which hoped to see a nation-wide rising of fully armed and committed men and women seizing control of the country. We know, however, the capture of the ship Aud, with its weapons, explosives and ammunition, off the Kerry coast on Good Friday, prompted the Dublin leadership to cancel the Rising. The order was ignored by Padraic Pearse and others, who had the benefit of arms imported into Howth two years previously. They took over key positions throughout Dublin city, which they held for six days.

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Liam Mellows - ‘I have failed lamentably’

Thu, Sep 19, 2019

Unlike the men executed after the 1916 Rising, there was little of the same idealisation given to the hundreds of men and women who died in the War of Independence, or, more emphatically, those executed during the regretable Civil War.

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US Ambassador remembers act of kindness in September 1944

Thu, Sep 12, 2019

Shortly after dawn on Saturday, September 16 1944, Michael Conneely, a bachelor of 55 years, was asleep in his cottage at Ailleabreach, Ballyconneely, when loud banging on his door woke him. He shouted ‘who’s there?’ The storm of the previous two days had abated but he couldn’t make out what the voice said. Grabbing a pitchfork, he slowly opened to door. Outside were two men, wet to the skin, in deep distress. Michael put the pitchfork to the throat of the first man: “Who are you?”

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Aran people astounded by French habits

Thu, Aug 29, 2019

‘Them French are queer, I don’t understand them at all. They will give good money for snails and frogs. My young fellow got a bottle of cognac for a bucket full of snails.’

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Introducing Ireland’s Love Club!

Fri, Aug 23, 2019

Welcome to Ireland’s Love Club, a revolutionary approach to dating - where together, we will create a platform that will change dating forever.

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The magic of radio in days gone by...

Thu, Aug 22, 2019

When I was boy, as soon as school ended, my mother whisked us off to her home in west Cork, where my brother, sister and I spent most of the summer. It was a very different place to Galway. We enjoyed large family picnics, long afternoons fishing and rabbit shooting (everything was eaten), and picking fruit and vegetables in my grandparents’ large garden. Looking at old black and white photographs our everyday clothes were zipped corduroy jackets, short pants and wellies.

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How Aran looked in the 1930s

Thu, Aug 15, 2019

When Thomas H Mason stepped onto the pier at Kilronan, Inishmór, in the summer of 1932, he described his feelings of surprise and sense of confusion. Writing in his masterly The Islands of Ireland * he realised that he was plunged into an Ireland he did not recognise. As an Irishman coming from the east coast, and geographically still in Ireland - he believed that he could have been 1,000 miles from Dublin.

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How Aran looked in the 1930s

Wed, Aug 14, 2019

When Thomas H Mason stepped onto the pier at Kilronan, Inishmór, in the summer of 1932, he described his feelings of surprise and sense of confusion. Writing in his masterly The Islands of Ireland * he realised that he was plunged into an Ireland he did not recognise. As an Irishman coming from the east coast, and geographically still in Ireland - he believed that he could have been 1,000 miles from Dublin.

At that time he had never seen a currach, nor men and women dressed in home-made clothes, woven and knitted from the wool of their own sheep. Their features, he observed, were somewhat different from people on the mainland. They all spoke in Irish. ‘I felt a sense of wonder and interest which is common to travellers in strange places.’ As time passed by, of course, and Thomas found comfortable lodgings with Mrs McDonagh in Kilmurvey, he began to explore the Aran islands at his leisure. He became charmed by its spectacular landscape, the people and their stories.

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Dear Mr Semple I am that girl……

Thu, Aug 08, 2019

Anne Root (formerly Browne) was about 16 years-of-age when she went to work for the Blakes at Menlo Castle. She was employed as a housemaid, and joined two other house staff, a parlourmaid, and a cook Delia Earley, with whom she shared an attic room. She and Delia became warm friends, and shared a terrifying ordeal when they were trapped together on the roof of the castle as it burnt in a raging fire on July 26 1910.

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Tragedy at Menlo Castle

Thu, Aug 01, 2019

Week II

In the early hours of July 26 1910 Menlo Castle, on the bank of the river Corrib, was totally gutted by a fire. Sir Valentine and Lady Blake’s daughter, Ellen, was lost in the flames. The cook Delia Early, who lived on the attic floor, jumped to her death. Delia shared a room with housemaid Anne Browne, who waited until her clothes were in flames, before jumping. She landed on a pile of hay placed by other household staff to break her fall. Severely injured and burnt, Anne was driven on an open truck, slowly into the Galway Infirmary, lying on a door to ease her movement and pain. Local farmers gave her milk to drink to try to cool her down.

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The joy of crowds

Thu, Jul 25, 2019

Looking at the happy crowds in Galway for this year’s Galway Arts Festival, I can appreciate that the sense of joy and surprise is heightened because it is shared on a huge scale. The crowd itself is a key part of the attraction. People lose their inhibitions among the horde.

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A god with feet of clay

Thu, Jul 18, 2019

Week VI

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‘Beyond our wildest expectations’

Thu, Jun 27, 2019

Week III

On Sunday morning June 15 1919, the editor of the Connacht Tribune, Tom ‘Cork’ Kenny (the grandfather of my colleague on this page), got a phone call from the police station in Clifden to say that two young men had landed on Derrygimla bog, close to the Marconi station, claiming they had just flown in from America. Tom immediately motored out to Clifden, and what must have sickened poor Lord Northcliff of the Daily Mail, who had offered £10,000 to the first aviator to fly across the Atlantic, Tom was the first journalist to interview the successful pilot, John Alcock, and his navigator, Arthur W Brown. He beat them all with a world exclusive story.

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A letter to Elsie

Thu, Jun 20, 2019

Week II

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E-paper

Read this weeks E-paper. Past editions also available from within this weeks digital copy.

 

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