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The workhouse has been described as “the most feared and hated institution ever established in Ireland" and the story of these institutions has now been made available online by Mayo County Library.
‘To speak with justice, I would say this letter from Mr Casement is, for the most part, a string of falsehoods’ ….begins a letter of harsh criticism concerning the efforts of committed Irish language enthusiasts on the island of Tawin to build a new school where ‘Irish will be the language.’ It was to replace the English-speaking school, and its teacher, which was closed for years because the islanders refused to send their children there.
The so-called ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918/19 came in three phases, leading to the false hope that as each phase appeared to be on the wane, it only returned with a vengeance, creating misery and fear throughout the country.
[Week II. Read Part I.] The 1918 General Election on December 14 was the most significant election in modern Irish history. Following the events of World War I, the Easter Rising, and the Conscription Crisis, the whole island was caught up in fierce debate as to its future. The result was a sweeping victory for a radical Sinn Féin, which promised to establish an independent Irish Republic. The moderate Irish Parliamentary Party, which had dominated the Irish political landscape since the 1880s, was wiped out; while in Ulster the Unionist Party took power.
When Mitchell Henry entered Westminster parliament in 1871 he went with hope in his heart and a mission to tell the British people the circumstances of the Irish tenant farmer. He reminds me of the Frank Cappa film Mr Smith Goes to Washington where a naive, idealistic young man has plans to change America.* Mitchell Henry, a liberal, kindly man, had however, walked into a political cauldron, waiting to explode.
When the Claddagh fishermen worked, they did it with a will, and when not fishing, they were generally found mending their nets. They had the reputation of being so well prepared for sea, that lives were seldom lost when they went fishing. The strand often presented a lively sight at The Claddagh preparatory to the men proceeding to sea. They usually brought with them some oatmeal cakes, potatoes, water, and firing, no spirits of any kind.
In 1912, the county of Mayo had been through seven challenging decades of continuous population decline. The reasons for such a plummet in numbers were multiple. High infant mortality, disease brought on by poor diet, a demanding lifestyle, and high emigration tested the people of Mayo’s strength to the limit.
Fifty years ago this weekend, on October 1 1966 to be precise, the last issue of the Galway Observer newspaper was published. It was founded in 1881, published on a Thursday (which was a half day in Galway) and circulated extensively in the city and county. In 1905 it declared itself as the “official advertising medium for the following public bodies – The Galway County Council, The Galway Town Council, Galway Rural District Council and Board of Guardians, Loughrea Rural District Council and Board of Guardians, Gort Rural District Council and Board of Guardians, Clifden Rural District Council and Board of Guardians, Galway Harbour Board, etc, etc.
Dangan House, “beautifully situated on the banks of the fine river Corrib” directly opposite Menlo Castle, was built in 1684 as the seat of the Martin family. ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin was brought up there. John Redington purchased Dangan Demesne from Anthony Martin about 1830 and became the proprietor of the townland. It was, for a short time afterwards, converted into an Ursuline Convent. The nuns were there from 1839 to 1844. Dangan House was left to the Board of Guardians of the Galway Union for an auxiliary workhouse until 1854. The only trace of the original Martin building today is the tea-house folly which is on the banks of the river. A nearby property known as Dangan Cottage was leased by a number of American artists in the 1870s but was described as a ruin in the 1890s.
This parade started from the Square in the following order: Eyre Square North – Industrial School Band; Galway Urban District Council; Galway Board of Guardians; Students of UCG; AOH. Eyre Square East – The Monastery School Fife and Drum Band; UIL; Town Tenant’s League; Galway Woollen Manufacturing Co; and the Irish National Foresters.