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On this day, January 15 in the year 1827, the Patrician Brothers arrived in Galway for the first time. Brothers Paul O’Connor and James Walsh took up residence in the Charity Free School in Lombard Street. Three hundred boys attended that day. This school for the poor was originally founded in 1790 in Back Street (now St Augustine Street). In 1824 it transferred to the Lombard Street barracks which had been built in 1749, and purchased from the government by Warden French in 1823. It had been a struggle to keep the school going so the Patricians were invited to take it over and manage it. The barracks formed three sides of a square, the Brothers lived in one wing and the school occupied another. It had one large room on the ground floor and one large room overhead.
Church Lane was a dark place up until 1983 because of the very large high stone wall that ran the length of it. This was part of a wall that was built around St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and its adjoining graveyard. The removal of most of the wall and its replacement by the railings that once surrounded Eyre Square was one of the earliest ideas for improving Galway as it prepared for the Quincentennial in 1984. This project transformed the area around the church, making it much more attractive and opening it up to the passing public. It let a lot of light into the city centre.
The first time I heard the name Sean Duggan was when my grandmother would scoff at the crowds walking the Salthill prom on a Sunday afternoon.
Like most towns in Ireland, Galway was used to food shortages; they had occurred here in 1816, 1817, 1822, 1831, and in 1842 there were food riots in the city. Nobody, however, was prepared for what happened in 1845 when the potato crop failed. As winter approached, the situation did not seem any worse than usual, though people were concerned about food being exported from the docks while there was a shortage locally.
This photograph was originally taken in 1983 as the corporation was preparing to knock down the high wall that ran around St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and replace it with the railings that had surrounded Eyre Square… one of the better Quincentennial projects that helped improve the face of Galway.
One could almost say that the Duggan family of College Road were born to play the game of hurling. A number of their predecessors had played for a famous College Road team in the 1890s, and their uncle Paddy played for Galway. They were given their first hurleys by Eddie Moore O’Flaherty from the Claddagh when they were very young children, so it was no wonder that Sean and Paddy and Jimmy would play for Galway and that Monica would become a very famous camogie player. Paddy and Monica have gone to their reward, but happily Sean and Jimmy are still with us.
Seán Duggan, one of the greatest hurlers of all time, will be honoured by his native city of Galway when the Galway Coach Station and Webworks Building is officially named the Seán Duggan Centre.