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While last week's historic referendum on same sex marriage was undoubtedly the political event of the year in Ireland, earlier this month the eyes in Leinster House were very firmly fixed on events across the Irish Sea and the British general election.
This photograph of a single-deck horse drawn tram was taken in Eyre Square c1900. The American style dome roof top cover provided cover for passengers during the winter. In one of their books, Somerville and Ross described these vehicles thus: “The little one-horse trams glide along the shining desolate road like white-backed beetles.” This tram was painted in a battleship grey colour. The double-deck open summer trams, which needed two horses to pull them, were painted in olive-green and white.
Percy Bysse Shelley once famously declared that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”. While he may have been boosting his own profession with the remark, history furnishes quite a few examples of authors who were actual legislators.
Since coming to power the present Government has not been shy about going down the referendum route. To date it has sought to make six Constitutional amendments and next May will seek to make two more.
As millions of Coronation Street fans this week mourned the passing of Anne Kirkbride, we remember her roots in south Galway, and the time she visited the area to learn more about the life of her great grandfather, a farm labourer from near Gort.
In a famous speech in 1992 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth referred to having just endured ‘an annus horribilis’. Well at Christmas 2014 any member of the Irish Government could make the very same statement.
A story is told that when William Ewart Gladstone, the great 19th century Liberal Parliamentarian and prime minister was on the campaign trail, delivering one of his marathon three-hour speeches, a little girl in the crowd turned to her mother and asked, “Mummy, what is that man for?”
Early morning July 17 1938, Douglas Corrigan, a young aviator, climbed into a small and rather battered nine-year old Curtiss Robin monoplane, at Brooklyn airfield New York. He was cleared to fly to California. It was a misty overcast morning. Instead of turning east, he headed out over the Atlantic. Twenty-eight hours later, surviving on two chocolate bars, two boxes of fig bars, and a few gallons of water, he landed in Baldonnel airport, Dublin, to everyone’s amazement. He was immediately christened ‘Wrong Way’ Corrigan, and the world press loved him. The New York Post printed its headline back to front to join in the fun. Especially as it emerged that Corrigan’s plane had many modifications made to it, including two large petrol tanks strapped in front of the cockpit, allowing him to only see out sideways. One of the tanks leaked on the way over. He had to slash a hole in the floor to allow the fuel out.
Developers of the major Galway Harbour Extension will be asked to dig deep to contribute to the upgrading of Lough Atalia Road and replacement of Wolfe Tone Bridge to mitigate the significant wear and tear that will be caused by a significant increase in HGV movements, as well as agreeing to be subject to penalty clauses if the traffic management plan is not adhered to.
Just over 12 hours after he addressed the nation in a live Sunday evening (December 16) broadcast on Ireland’s exit from the Troika bailout, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was back at his desk in his constituency office on Tucker Street in Castlebar. His familiar voice could be heard outside the door of the office as he chatted to old school friends and passers-by as he arrived to the door of the office, ready for another full day of engagements on his home turf. After 38 years in national politics, the Islandeady native is heading into his third Christmas as leader of the country and is very positive about the future for Ireland in the coming years.