The end of the old Claddagh

Thu, Feb 15, 2018

In 1812, there were 468 cabins or houses, all thatched, in The Claddagh. These were occupied by 50 families, totalling 1,050 males and 1,286 females. That was a lot of people and houses in a relatively small geographical area and could be described as a “clachan”, a large irregular group of houses clustered closely together. All of these houses were single storey buildings, only the two-storeyed Aran View House and the early 19th century coastguard houses were higher.

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Part of Forster Street, 1905

Thu, Feb 08, 2018

This photograph, taken from an old glass slide, shows some important personage in an escorted carriage leaving the Great Southern Hotel. There are some mounted liveried gentlemen in front and two RIC men on horseback behind the carriage, which is hidden by the RIC men. You can see a policeman on foot to the right of our picture.

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Seamount Nursing Home

Thu, Feb 01, 2018

A “to let” advertisement in a Galway newspaper in April 1860 promoted the fact that Seamount Villa contained a parlour, drawing room, six bedrooms, a kitchen, water closet, a coach house with some stabling, and a small garden. The grounds were nicely laid out and had an approach to the sea. George Fallon who lived at ‘The Baths’, Salthill, would show the place to prospective customers.

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Francis Corbett in his studio

Thu, Jan 25, 2018

Francis Corbett was a member of the well known business family who owned Corbett and Sons in Williamsgate Street. He was one of five siblings, one of whom, Gerard, went into the business. Francis also worked there but only for a short time, as he died relatively young in 1946. He was a talented artist, as were his brother Redmond and his sisters Lucy and Agnes. Francis was one of the founders of the Galway Art Club, and became its first treasurer.

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Fr Lally’s Street League under 14 champions, 1965

Thu, Jan 18, 2018

In 1881, Father Lally was made parish priest of Rahoon. At the time the parish was served by two churches, Bushypark and Barna, Dr McEvilly, Bishop of Galway was appointed as Archbishop of Tuam, and Father Lally was made Vicar Capitular of the Diocese in the interregnum until the appointment of a successor to Dr McEvilly. Dr McEvilly was aware that the very large parish of Rahoon had no central church so he gave Fr Lally money to start the process of erecting a new church beside the Presentation Convent. Fr Lally collected the funds and employed direct labour to build the church. The foundation stone of St Joseph’s was laid on April 22, 1882, and the church was consecrated on February 7, 1886.

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Will Galway beat Mayo?

Thu, Jan 11, 2018

The rivalry between Galway and Mayo is as old as the provincial championship itself. The Connacht GAA Council was actually founded on the same day that Galway and Mayo contested the first ‘official’ Connacht senior football final. That game was played in Claremorris in November 1902 and was won by Mayo. Galway played “with the wind and the incline” in the first half while the vast crowd agreed to “keep strictly outside the field of play”, something the organisers clearly regarded as an unexpected bonus.

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Liam Mellows, county champions

Thu, Jan 04, 2018

We know that hurling was played in the Bohermore area 200 years ago. Several different clubs operated around there at different times — Galway City, Bohermore 98s, College Road, Thomas Ashe, etc. Players would occasionally transfer from one club to another so it was natural for them to join the new club that was formed on February 11, 1933. The club was called Liam Mellows after the patriot who led the 1916 rebellion in Galway.

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The nailer forge

Thu, Dec 28, 2017

The Connaught Journal of July 1823 reported that Michael Walsh, the nailer of Bridge Street, was in great distress. He was described as being very poor, and though he worked hard, his life had been a struggle for some 12 years now because of a ‘disease of his leg’. The unfortunate man had to have the leg amputated and was now ‘reduced to extreme want’ as he was unable to work. The newspaper highlighted his predicament and hoped that the charitable and humane people of Galway would contribute to his support while he was recovering from the operation. So we know that the nailer was in business there some 200 years ago.

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Remembering Tom McHugh

Thu, Dec 21, 2017

This is the Galway football team that played Tyrone in the 1956 All-Ireland semifinal in Croke Park. They are, back row, left to right: Seán Purcell, Gerry Kirwan, Joe Young, Jack Kissane, Frank Evers, Mattie McDonagh, Tom McHugh, and Billy O’Neill. In front are Mick Greally, Tom ‘Pook’ Dillon, Sean Keely, Jack Mangan, Frank Stockwell, Jack Mahon, and Gerry Daly. The first score in the game was a brilliant point by Galway’s Tom McHugh. Galway won a thrilling close game that featured a high degree of sportsmanship, and went on to beat Cork in the final.

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The sinking of the Neptune

Thu, Dec 14, 2017

This photograph was taken about 100 years ago and shows several boats from the Claddagh fleet moored at the quayside.

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The sweets of our childhood

Thu, Dec 07, 2017

A sweet is defined as having a taste of sugar or honey. It is not bitter or sour, but is pleasingly fragrant and agreeable. It is strange that while the taste never lingers too long, the memory of that taste can stay with you for life, particularly if it was one of the favourite sweets of your childhood. The sweet shops of yesteryear had a special smell, an aroma of temptation which you got as you went through the door. Even to look in the shop window was to make an imaginative journey of the various tastes that were on display. Our photograph today, which was taken about 40 years ago by Marja Van Kampen, will tick memory boxes for many people. The mouthwatering display was in Miko Cunningham’s shop window in Upper Abbeygate Street.

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Humble Works for Humble People

Thu, Nov 30, 2017

Our illustration today is of the inner part of Galway Bay and shows the piers and harbours therein. It is one of the images in a new book entitled Humble Works for Humble People written by Noel Wilkins, a retired professor of zoology who has a number of titles to his name already, many of them dealing with County Galway. This book explores the history of the fishery piers and harbours of County Galway and north Clare. It is a scholarly but eminently readable testament to these piers as feats of engineering, but it also gives us a wonderful account of the human aspect that shadowed their construction, and finally it describes beautifully the maritime activities that gave life to the west coast — kelp making, fishing, turf distribution, and sea-borne trade.

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A Galway tradition

Thu, Nov 23, 2017

In Hely Dutton’s Survey of Galway in 1824, he reported; “The vegetable market near the Main Guard is generally well supplied, and at reasonable rates; all kinds come to the market washed, by which any imperfection is easily detected. The cabbage raised near the sea on seaweed is particularly delicious; those who have been used to those cultivated on ground highly manured cannot form any idea of the difference. There are also, in season, peaches, strawberries, gooseberries, apples, pears etc.”

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Cherishing all the children equally?

Thu, Nov 23, 2017

Back in the 1960s my late mother had a two-door Morris Mini-Minor. The mini, about the size of a dog-kennel on wheels, was our family car for years (dad drove a van used for deliveries). I think the mini won the Monte Carlo Rally at one time and it became famous. Towards the end of the decade it actually became cool to have a Mini-Minor after the film The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine. But my brother and I had long legs, and the car became a torture chamber on long journeys. We hated the car. There was little room for us and later for my sister, and all her stuff, the dog (who went ballistic if he saw another dog on the street), the weekly shopping, and all the detritus that family cars gather.

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Pádraic Ó Conaire: man and monument

Thu, Nov 16, 2017

On October 6 1928, writer, journalist, teacher, and raconteur Pádraic Ó Conaire died in tragic poverty in Richmond Hospital, Dublin, at the age of 46. Since the turn of the century he had established himself as one of the leading lights of the Gaelic Revival, an innovative writer who pioneered the short story in Irish.

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Under 16 Bish

Thu, Nov 16, 2017

This was the team representing St Joseph’s College which won the Rosebowl Cup in 1968.

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The crane at Woodquay

Thu, Nov 09, 2017

In the early 19th century, most of the area we see in our photograph would have been under water. Woodquay was so called because of the 150 feet wooden quay that ran the length of it. It was a kind of second docks for the city, attracting a lot of commercial traffic down the river. The Corrib Drainage Scheme in 1852 began to change the face of the space we are looking at, and later, when Steamer’s Quay was built, the area was gradually filled in and reclaimed.

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Galway Grammar School, 1903

Thu, Nov 02, 2017

Galway Grammar School was a Protestant institution established under the Erasmus Smith Trust in 1669. It opened around 1675 and has been located at College Road since 1815. The 1950/51 school year was an eventful one when, in November of that year, a wing of the school was gutted by fire, happily, there was no danger of loss of life. Four months later a dormitory ceiling collapsed. The headmaster, George Coughlan, said that the collapse was caused by a 24 foot beam being charred through by a chimney fire. The beam brought down two other beams and half the ceiling. In many old buildings, beams went into chimney flues and successive chimney fires charred them until they came down. Neither incident occasioned an interruption in the school routine.

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Looking west on Shop Street, c120 years ago

Thu, Oct 26, 2017

The first thing you notice about this image is the state of the street surface with its animal droppings and puddles. You had to be careful crossing the street, which is why they laid down cobbles between footpaths, you can see them at the entrance to Church Lane and Churchyard Street.

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