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On August 4 1914, Lt Col Henry Jourdain, Commander of the Connaught Rangers in Renmore Barracks, Galway, received mobilisation orders which changed the lives of thousands of families throughout the city and county. Urgent appeals for recruits were sent out. Hundreds of young men began arriving from all over Connacht. Temporary military camps were set up outside the barracks to cater for the recruits.
Kathleen B Curran, who began working for the Galway Harbour Board after she left school, would rise spectacularly through the ranks to become the combined Harbour Master and secretary to the Port Authority (an unheard of position for a woman in Ireland). She was intimately involved in all of the major events which the harbour witnessed during the latter part of the last century. But I am sure she took particular pleasure, as an Irish language enthusiast and a great admirer of the poet WB Yeats, when Galway was picked out to play a role in the great poet’s funeral.
Shortly before midnight on February 18 1946, the cargo ship The Moyalla steamed into Galway Bay. It was a foggy night. The Galway pilot, Coleman Flaherty was watching the approach of the ship from the bothareen at Barna waiting for the ship to signal for a pilot. Unusually she steamed along without requesting any.
On December 7 1922, Pádraic Ó Máille TD and his friend Sean Hales TD of Cork, walked out of a hotel on Ormonde Quay, by Dublin’s river Liffy. They just had lunch, and were on their way back to the Dáil in Leinster House, a short drive away. Ó Máille, Galway city and Connemara’s first TD, had been appointed Leas Ceann Comhairle (deputy speaker ).
One hundred years ago there were a series of truly terrible battles on the Western Front which were watched anxiously in Ireland as elsewhere. On June 7, near the Belgian village of Messines, the Allied army won a substantial victory. It gave hope, which turned out to be tragically false, that perhaps this was the beginning of the end of the war. With the capture of the Messines ridge, the Allies were confident they could clear a path all the way down to Passchendaele, and capture the Belgian coast up the Dutch border.
It was the action that went down in military history as much for its commanders’ incompetence as for its soldiers’ perceived heroism.
A PhD student of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway has been selected as Commander of Crew 172, an international mission for the Mars Desert Research Station, which supports Earth-based research required for human space exploration.
Well, last week it was all talk of Enda Kenny and what would he say and what would he do.