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The Citie of the Tribes was the name given to the first steamboat to sail on the bay. She was built in South Shields and registered on December 24, 1872, for the pioneering Galway Steamboat Company and her arrival here was hailed as the precursor of the new shipping millennium, the era of steam.
In 1851, the Mayo Gaeltacht stretched west across the county from a line between Kilasser and Ballindine, excluding the town of Ballina. The official census figures for that year record that 65.8 per cent of the county’s population could speak the Irish language. By 1926, that figure had plummeted to 36.8 per cent and today, 47.2 per cent of the Mayo population claim the ability to speak the language, though to vastly different standards. Statistics for where the language is living and in everyday use are more important and telling. In that regard, the Mayo Gaeltacht is now confined to the Erris region, the eastern half of Achill Island, the Corraun Peninsula and a pocket around Tourmakeady on the western shore of Lough Mask.
George Nicholls was a young solicitor who worked in G.C. Conroy’s office in Francis Street. In 1912, he set up a pipe band known as “Cumann Píobairí naGaillimhe”, the only band with an Irish language name to play at O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral to which they travelled in the company of Padraic Pearse.