Claddagh Parade, c1910

Thu, Apr 15, 2021

An article that appeared in The Irish Times on January 7, 1861, was lifted from the Galway Press and started as follows: “Twenty years ago, this fishing village, for which outdoor relief is now deemed necessary, was the greatest source of profit and employment to the people of Galway. It was the wealth producing quarter of the town, and not alone the town of Galway, but many parts of the interior of Ireland felt the benefit of the successful industry of the Claddagh fishermen. The harvest fishing season, which began in August and ended in November, produced a very large accession of wealth to the country. The number of cadgers leaving the town for the interior averaged about 150 daily, and whilst these peripatetic dealers in fish were thus numerously employed, the foremost merchants we had were occupied in filling their stores with herrings, and even the Fishery Board on some occasions were known to barrel large quantities. So abundant frequently was the take that all the cargoes of salt provided by the importers of that article did not suffice, and it had to be brought overland from Limerick and other places.”

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Dancing feet in the Hangar

Thu, Apr 08, 2021

Early in 1922, the urban council decided to purchase the hangar and some of the huts at Oranmore Airfield which had been used by the RAF there. The price was £400. Willie Joe Simon’s tender for their removal and re-erection of was accepted. Following the assembly of the Hangar in Salthill Park, a council meeting was held there and decided that ‘a dancing floor in timber be laid down’. They also recommended that one of the sheds purchased in Oranmore ‘be erected adjoining the Hangar to be used as a kitchen and supper room’. Three councillors, John Coogan, Mr Bailey, and Martin Cooke supported the sale, other councillors said it would become a ‘white elephant’. They were wrong.

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Galway Sinn Féin to hold Easter Rising online commemoration

Thu, Apr 01, 2021

The 105th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916 will be commemorated online this year as last year by Galway Sinn Féin.

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A summer tram on William Street, 1904

Thu, Apr 01, 2021

Our photograph of William Street shows the horse-drawn open-topped summer tram heading towards the terminus on Eyre Square.

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The burning of the Sinn Féin hall, 100 years ago

Thu, Mar 25, 2021

Around the year 1890, this four storey building at the top of Prospect Hill was derelict. It was bought by the Sisters of Mercy and used by them as a ‘House of Mercy’, a training centre for girls. The nuns called it St Patrick’s House but their scheme failed due to lack of finance and staffing problems, so they let the building out on rent.

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British Army and RIC unleash terror on the streets of Clifden

Thu, Mar 18, 2021

March 1921 saw the British army's D Company Auxiliaries continue their tour of east Galway, assisted by an RAF spotter plane, the RIC, the Black and Tans, and various members of the Crown Forces.

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'The Pools' in Salthill

Thu, Mar 18, 2021

The ladies and children’s bathing pools in Salthill were blessed by Canon Davis in 1930. These were two linked tidal pools which filled up when the tide came in and emptied when the tide went out. The floors were of sand so they were a perfect playground for children even when they had dried out. Thousands of children and adults learned how to swim there with Jimmy Cranny of Galway Swimming Club and Christy Dooley of Blackrock Swimming Club teaching organised groups on alternate evenings throughout the summer.

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The handing over of Galway Gaol

Thu, Mar 11, 2021

Galway City and County gaols were built at the beginning of the 19th century on a large site which took up most of Nuns Island. Construction was conditional on a right of way, the road all around the walls, also being built. James Hardiman, the historian, described it as follows: “The Prison …. Is built in the form of a crescent …. The interior of which is divided into eight wards ….. separated by walls which form so many radii of a circle, and, terminating in the rear of the governor’s house, bringing the whole range within many of his windows, by which means he can, at a single glance, survey the entire.”

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Bowling Green

Thu, Mar 04, 2021

Bowling Green first appears without a name on a map in 1608. It features a little later as Bóthar Alasandair or Alexander’s Lane (eventually shortened to Sander’s Lane) which in turn was named after Alexander’s Tower, a medieval tower nearby. It is difficult to know exactly when the name Bowling Green originated, but we must presume there was a bowling green in the area at some point. On an Ordnance Survey map of 1839, the part of Bowling Green we see in our photograph was known as ‘Bowling Green Lane’ while the section connecting with Lombard Street was known as ‘The Bow’. Both sections are collectively known as Bowling Green today.

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A view from the rear of the Spanish Arch

Thu, Feb 25, 2021

The Spanish Arch was not part of the original city walls but was built in 1584 as a measure to protect the city’s quays. It was originally known as Ceann an Bhalla or The Head of the Wall, a fortification that extended from Martin’s Tower to the river. Then in the 18th century, the Eyre family built Long Walk as an extension of the quays and a breakwater to construct a mud berth. A number of arches were constructed to allow access from the town to the new quay but unfortunately, an earthquake that occurred in Lisbon in 1755 resulted in a tsunami that destroyed some of these arches. In olden times, ships would have moored here unloading their cargo of Spanish wines and foodstuffs such as olive oil, spices, tea, coffee, and cocoa. Later, these ships would have been replaced by Aran fishing boats unloading and selling their wares.

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'If one policeman is shot here up goes the town'

Thu, Feb 18, 2021

By early 1921 Britain’s war in Ireland was not just a moral issue, but a financial one. The sheer expense of solving 'The Irish Question', considering financial reparation for the loss of civilian life and destruction of private property, along with the price tag of the Crown Forces’ operations in Ireland, was staggering.

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Danno, the quintessential Galwegian

Thu, Feb 18, 2021

He was one of those people who was known to all by just the one name, Danno, and that was not even his actual name. He was born Francis Brendan Heaslip in Knocknacarra in 1938. Because he looked very like a boxing champion of the times, Danno O’Mahoney, he was given the nickname and it stuck. He was one of six siblings born to Joe Heaslip from Cork and Maureen O’Donoghue from Tuam; Minnie, Jimmy, Michael, Danno, Helen, and Phil. They lived in Lenaboy Gardens in Salthill,.

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Galway Hockey Club, the first seventy years

Thu, Feb 11, 2021

In 1951 Hastings Elliott Jephson was working in the ESB in Galway when he had the idea of setting up a hockey club in the city. He and his friend George Bevis decided to see if there was merit in this notion, so they simply went from door to door around town asking people if they would have any interest in playing the game of hockey.

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Death by wrongful humiliation - the story of Valentine Steinberger

Thu, Feb 04, 2021

STEPHANIE KLAPP, MA Culture and Colonialism NUI Galway, history teacher, and local historian, recalls the story of a fellow German who made Galway his home, but found himself caught up in the 1916 Rising and wrongly humiliated on the streets of Galway.

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Dónall Mac Amhlaigh, gentleman, writer, exile

Thu, Feb 04, 2021

This photograph of some of the staff of the Rockville Hotel was taken in the summer of 1947. They were all well-dressed which would have been normal in hotels in Salthill at the time, porters would have worn swallow-tail coats and waitresses proper uniforms. The Rockville was originally a guest house owned by a Mr Kelleher who was a member of the RIC. It evolved into a small comfortable hotel owned by O’Neills (“Private bathing from the Hotel, Phone Salthill 70”) and later by people named Hynes. As the Rockville it had high standards and was fully licensed.

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The Galway sword and mace

Thu, Jan 28, 2021

The Galway civic sword and mace are among the finest specimens of municipal corporation insignia in Ireland; the sword is particularly noteworthy and can be compared with the best of civic swords in these islands. Swords and maces were first carried by the king’s servants as symbols of the authority of the king himself. As time went on, the mayors and bailiffs of towns acquired swords and maces of their own, some following charter grants, others by mere assumption without specific authority. These were usually borne before the dignitaries concerned when they went in procession or were actively displayed when they acted otherwise in their official capacity. Maces, which were originally weapons, are staves of authority. Swords symbolise the legitimate use of force.

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The university man, the Headford ambush, and the 'Day of Rage'

Thu, Jan 21, 2021

For most of December 1920, Thomas Hynes, quartermaster of the Galway IRA, was in Queen’s College Galway - today's NUIG - hiding from Crown forces, sleeping on top of bookshelves, and assisting in the making of grenades.

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The Summer-Set Hotel

Thu, Jan 21, 2021

This building on Kingshill in Salthill was originally a guest house known as St Columba’s and was run by a Mrs Delaney. In 1933, Paddy and Bridie Hussey bought it and changed the name to The Summer-Set. They renovated and decorated it and advertised it as, “Beautifully Situated on the Sea Front, Home Comforts at Moderate Charges, Excellent Catering and Efficient Service under Personal Supervision, Touring Cars on the Premises for Hire, Free Lock-up Garage, Special Terms for Winter Months, Bus to Door.” The phone number was Salthill 36.

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The art of the letter head

Thu, Jan 14, 2021

Our illustration today is of the letterhead of JJ Ward who owned The Motor and Cycle House on Eyre Square. This building is shown on the left of our illustration. It was originally occupied by Gilbeys and was next door to what is the Imperial Hotel today. James Ward set up in business here in 1903 and invited the public to ‘inspect the largest stock, the best chosen variety and the best value in Connaught in Cycles and Accessories’. In 1909 he wrote: “In my repair shop, I have the same group of hands working who have worked under me for 6 years – they know their work and do it well. I’ll give you a cycle for £7 7s as good as you can get elsewhere for a much higher price. In fact it is worth £9 9s.”

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Blake’s Castle, Quay Street

Thu, Jan 07, 2021

This drawing of Blake’s Castle was done in 1847 by George Victor Du Noyer, a Dublin born artist, geologist, and antiquarian who spent much of his life recording natural features and archeological sites around the country in the 19th century.

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