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Near by the ruins of Menlo Castle, built by the Blake family in 1569, is the village of Menlo, a small attractive cluster of houses, that appear to have grown near each other by accident, as it zigzags down to the river bank. There is no village centre as such, but its very irregularity has made it a desirable place to live. Today it is a prosperous suburb of Galway city.
I have mentioned recently Sir William Wilde’s energetic guide to Lough Corrib - Its shores and Islands (published 1867), and his excitement as he and his family steamed across Ireland from Dublin, to begin their long summer holiday at their holiday home, Moytura Lodge, Cong, at the very north of the lake. From steam train to the Eglinton steamer, which left Galway every day to service the villages on the lakeshore, including Cong, the Wildes steamed passed the ancient home of the Blakes at Menlough (Menlo)* located just before the river enters the great lake.
An old Galwegian gave us this photograph of Upper Abbeygate Street as seen from the corner of Market Street. In the late 1940s the building we see down at the end on the corner of Mary Street was Tommy Hopkins, victuallers. Opposite that, at the time, at the end of Abbeygate Street was Mrs Kemple’s house. Next door was Paul Heaney’s butcher shop; Moloney’s sweet shop; Barrett’s, Mrs Barrett had a cake making business; the Shapiros lived next door, and beside their house was an archway that led in to the back of the house; Ellie Carter and her brother were next; then Miko Cunningham’s sweet shop where he sold groceries as well. The next building was known as Carter’s Halls and among those who lived there were Mick Tuite, who was known only as ‘Shoots’, the Haynes family, Mary Anne O’Toole, Michael Melia, Chrissie Melia, Rose Anne Melia (these were Mary Anne’s children), Anthony Morris, Julia Murphy, Lizzie Hehir, Martin Cunniss, and Molly Hosty and her daughter.