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The 309 Connemara emigrants, selected by their local clergy as suitable for a new life in America, arrived at Boston June 14 1880, 11 days after departure from Galway Bay on the SS Austrian, an Allen Line ship. The settling of ‘The Connemaras’, as they became known, was a new venture prompted by a Liverpool priest, Fr Patrick Nugent renowned for his ‘philantropic and truly patriotic exertions to alleviate the social conditions of his fellow countrymen in England’; and Archbishop John Ireland, of St Paul, Minnesota, who was already settling thousands of Irish Catholics who were trapped in the ghettoes of New York and elsewhere, on rich prairie lands.
Although assisted emigration was frowned upon by some bishops and by the Land League leaders Michael Davitt and Charles S Parnell, there were some assisted schemes that were carefully planned, and in many cases worked well. The schemes that worked best were those which helped Irish families to avoid settlement in the great eastern cities of America where large numbers were caught in huge, stinking slums where it could take a generation or two to escape from.
In the early decades of the 19th century fortunes were made in giving hundreds of thousands of emigrants safe passage to America. As the decades slipped by the numbers grew into millions. Liverpool had the main transatlantic business for these two islands, but Galway, situated some 300 miles closer to America, and with the onset of powerful steam-driven ships, believed that a better and quicker service could be provided.
A new parish administrator has been appointed to St Mary’s parish in Athlone it has been confirmed in diocesan appointments announced by the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Francis Duffy this past weekend.
On a day when Moycullen celebrated the arrival of its Olympic medal into the parish, it had a second joyous event when local man John Gerard Action was ordaind a priest at Galway Cathedral.
The unfortunate collision of the Indian Empire into the well marked Margaretta Rock in the middle of Galway Bay was a blow to the newly established Galway Line. But by no means was it a knockout. Galway’s vaulting ambition to open a new ‘highway between the old and new worlds’ took on an even more determined energy. The exploitation of steam-power, driving ever bigger ships and faster trains, led to wild speculation as to what could be achieved even from Galway, in the middle of the 19th century.
The Lausanne Conference of July 1932, attended by the former allied powers of World War I (Britain, France, Belgium and Italy), and Germany, accepted that the world economic crisis made continued reparations by Germany virtually impossible. Various long-term arrangements were made, but in effect it allowed Germany off the hook for the monetary compensation it had agreed to pay for its responsibility in starting the war. Germany was now free to rebuild its own economy. This was a very importance conference attended by the world press, among whom was Clare Sheridan.
The Annual National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick or ‘Reek Sunday’ has been extended to incorporate the whole month of July. Those who wish to fulfil the ‘Reek Sunday’ obligations can do so from Wednesday to Saturday each week during July.
Galway City Museum will reopen its doors on Tuesday May 18 at 10am. Visitors will have access to both the ground floor and first floor galleries. The second floor will remain closed until the new Sea Science exhibition works have been completed.
ST PATRICK'S Day will be an online celebration this year. So as we have to do without the parade, the pageantry, and the festivities, we have asked a number of Galwegians to share their memories of St Patrick's Day parades from years gone by.