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Week II. Because most people in Brigid Kavanagh’s farming community near Strokestown, Co Roscommon, did not have a radio in September 1939, no one knew that war was declared between Britain and Germany until some time later.
“Boats from the Long Walk as well as the Boraholla boats were plying, and the shouting of the boatmen 'Who’s for Menlo, twopence a head, children free' rent the air …. It is a slow voyage but no-one minds. Joe Banks, piper to the King plays ‘The Rakes of Mallow'. Joe Kelly is piping in another boat, which is occupied by the Mayor of Galway …… Sweet vendors were working night and day preparing sugar-sticks and kiss-pipes which were sold in colours of red and white at a half-penny each ….. the cries of different vendors of eatables and drinks rent the air: ‘Cider a penny a glass …. The real juice of the American apple; Guinness threepence per pint and minerals twopence per bottle’ is the shout …… Puritans and temperance fanatics were unknown …. The ladies in the enclosure, which was at this side of the castle, with their sunshades and costumes of mid-Victorian days, looked beautiful. The villagers and colleens with their shoulder-shawls and neat pinafores were a picture of neatness and comeliness. They were all dressed — not undressed as they are today. Lady Blake hands the prizes and cups to the successful crews. The Miss Blakes are chatting in good old Irish to Maureen, Shawneen and Paudeen.”
The lot of a country girl growing up in rural Ireland in the 1930s and 40s was a lottery. If her family had a decent farm, and were relatively well off, she could go to university or train as a nurse, and could marry a prosperous farmer.
Leicester Tigers 48
The banks were always a key part of the development and growth of towns and villages across the country. In my home town, we had three banks. The Bank of Ireland (where my dad was the porter for a quarter of a century; the Munster and Leinster Bank (later AIB), and the Ulster Bank. All three were housed in fine solid buildings from a different age. Buildings that marked their importance in the town.
It is Tuesday morning and many of us are waking up to the images on our social media pages of Galway's Spanish and Middle Arches being thronged with young people revelling and drinking from the night before.
The tall building in the centre of our picture of New Docks Road taken in 1903 was known as “Gas Tank” Flaherty’s pub. We presume he got his nickname because of the gasworks across the street. It was here that the distinguished English painter Augustus John lived for several weeks in 1914. He did a lot of painting and drawing around the city and especially the docks area, but when the World War I started, he began to worry that the locals would regard him as an English spy, so he went back to England.
It is hard to believe that this is what the centre of Salthill village looked like exactly 100 years ago. The house on the left belonged to a Mr Kelleher who was a member of the RIC. It later became a guest house called the Rockville which eventually expanded into a small hotel and, like many such premises in Salthill, it was fully licensed. It had high standards, the porter always wore a white coat and the waitresses wore proper uniforms. The distinguished writer Donal Mac Amhlaigh worked here for a while during the fifties.
Champions Cup rugby returns to the Sportsground after a two-year hiatus when Connacht open their 2019/20 campaign against visitors Montpellier on Sunday (1pm).