Grattan Road

Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Crane’s Strand or Tráigh na gCorr appears on the 1651 map. It would seem to be the Whitestrand area before the building of Grattan Road. In Dutton’s 1824 survey we read: “It seems to be the general opinion of the oldest inhabitants that for some years past, storms and rains have been more frequent from the west than formerly. (Rice was sown here in 1585). As some corroboration of this idea, the encroachment of the sea near Recorder’s Quay on the west side of Galway, may be adduced, where the marks of the potato ridges may be seen, and where, only a few years ago were in cultivation, though they are now covered at every tide. Lately, the ground near Recorder’s Quay has been reclaimed by Mr Bulteel, and promises to remunerate his very spirited exertion.” (Probably the first ever reclamation of land in Salthill).

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The story behind Inis Oirr's Plassey Shipwreck

Wed, Oct 28, 2020

Appearing in the opening sequence of the beloved comedy series Fr Ted, on the foreshore of Craggy Island, the world famous Plassey Shipwreck is definitely one of Inis Oirr's must see locations. But are you familiar with the story of how the steam trawler found its way on to the land?

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Mícheál Walsh, The Old Malt

Thu, Oct 22, 2020

On September 22, 1920, 12 Black and Tans burst into the Old Malt Pub on High Street, breaking down the door and rushing upstairs to where Mícheál Walsh’s wife and children were sleeping. They demanded to know Mícheál’s whereabouts and then they searched the building, firing shots, exploding grenades, terrifying the children, and causing extensive damage to the property. They also broke open the safe and stole its contents, as well as taking money from the till in the bar. Clothing, alcohol, and tobacco were also stolen during the raid. The taps were opened on the barrels and then doors, cabinets, and furniture was smashed. The damage was estimated at £1,000.

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Patrick Joyce

Thu, Oct 15, 2020

Patrick Joyce was born at Lisheenagaoithe, near Headford, on May 23, 1868. He became a monitor teacher in 1884, taught in Cloghanover School for two years, later as principal of Trabane, and then Tiernee in the parish of Carraroe. In 1892 he married Margaret Donohue. He was eventually appointed as principal of Barna National School and his wife taught in Boleybeg National School.

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The Skeffington Arms through the years.

Wed, Oct 14, 2020

Walking through Eyre Square today, with the hustle and bustle of that iconic Galway atmosphere, city commuters going about their daily journeys, skateboarder flipping and tricking around the millennium fountain, those lazy afternoon coffee chats among groups of friends dotted around Kennedy Park, its hard to picture this space as it was afew hundreds ago, from then to now still the focal point of Galway life. Yet some iconic reminders of those historic Galway times remain to this day, with none more familiar or welcoming than that of Galway’s Meeting Place, ‘The Skeff’.

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Stone mad

Thu, Oct 08, 2020

Like most towns, Galway was built using native stone and there was plenty of that around. There were black limestone quarries in Menlo and Angliham, and a limestone quarry at Merlin Park worked by the Blake family until about 1850 and later by Sibthorpes of Dublin. In about 1880, a Scotsman named Millar rented a number of quarries in the Galway area, two at Shantalla, one at Ballagh near Bushy Park, and one at St Helen’s, Taylor's Hill, where they quarried fine-grained red granite. There was a marble and granite works at Earl’s Island where one of the employees was a stonemason named Pat Fahy.

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Some nasty close shaves in Galway

Thu, Oct 01, 2020

Baker’s Hotel and Billiard Rooms on Eyre Street was run by Captain Baker who had served with the British army during the war. It was much frequented by the Black and Tans, some of whom (including Edward Crumm) stayed there. Baker’s daughter Eileen, who had recently saved a little boy named Hennessy from drowning in the canal, gave evidence at the military enquiry into the death of Constable Crumm. The local volunteers suspected her of being too friendly with the Tans, and because of that she had a startling experience on the morning of September 18, 1920.

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The Black and Tans' raid on O’Flaherty’s Pub

Thu, Sep 24, 2020

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.

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Wolfe Tones, county football champions, 1936

Thu, Sep 17, 2020

Now that GAA club games are being played again, we thought to show you the county champions of 1936, Wolfe Tones. They were a city based team who also won the championship in 1941 but after that they seemed to fade out. Another city team of the period, Galway Gaels, who were champions in 1930, also faded out in the 1940s. Maybe some of the members of both clubs joined Father Griffins which was founded in 1948.

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Fairies and pookas in The Claddagh

Thu, Sep 10, 2020

These two women are chatting at the doorway of a Claddagh house on Dogfish Lane c1920. The lane is cobbled, the geese and hens are pecking around, the thatch roof is perfect, there are flowers on the windowsill, everything is calm and peaceful, but what are they talking about? Could it be about piseógs, about the ‘good people’, the fairies, the banshee?

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A violent night in Galway

Thu, Sep 03, 2020

Edward Krumm was 5ft 11in, 26 years old, a bachelor and a member of the Church of England from Middlesex. He was a lorry driver with the Black and Tans and had been in Galway three weeks when he arranged to meet a civilian driver he had come to know in a pub in Abbeygate Street. This man, Christopher Yorke, described Krumm as a “generally reckless fellow who drank a lot”. Krumm was fairly drunk, brandishing a revolver and bragging that he could knock the neck off a bottle at 10 yards' range, and apparently shot at a few bottles in the pub.

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Online event to mark centenary of Mulvoy/Quirke deaths in Galway

Thu, Sep 03, 2020

Galway Sinn Féin will host an online commemoration via Facebook Live on Tuesday September 8 at 8pm to mark 100 years since the shooting dead of Séamus Quirke and Seán Mulvoy.

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The best years of our lives

Thu, Aug 27, 2020

It is that time of the year again when children go back to school. It will be different this year as most of them will be delighted to return to classes and meet their friends after such a long break. For older generations, this time of year was, in the words of the Bard, more akin to "creeping like snail unwillingly to school”. And yet, when we look back on our schooldays, it is usually with affection. The old cliché ‘the best years of our lives’ still applies. It was where were educated, matured, learned and developed skills, remembered quotations like the above from the Bard, and made friends for life.

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Buttermilk Lane, 1838

Thu, Aug 13, 2020

William Evans was a distinguished painter in the 19th century who did a very unusual and adventurous thing for an English artist at the time — he travelled widely in Connemara and west Mayo. We can only speculate what attracted him to this wild, rugged, and remote terrain but he liked the parts of the country least visited, and said that, “Ireland failed to attract the pencils of the recording brethren of the easel and lay like a virgin soil untouched by the plough.” He produced many studies and finished watercolours, a mixture of landscapes, streetscapes, and market scenes, and what might be called peasant structures and peasant portraits.

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The Local Security Force

Thu, Aug 06, 2020

In the first years of World War II, the numbers of personnel in the army multiplied by between six and seven. The army began by calling up on permanent service part-time soldiers, ie, reserve and volunteer units. By early summer 1940, numbers had to double again. These new recruits had to be trained and this put a major strain on army resources.

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Shop Street, 1903

Thu, Jul 30, 2020

This was Shop Street, Galway’s main street, decorated for the visit of Edward VII in 1903. The poles along the footpath were especially erected to carry bunting and decorations and many buildings had their own flags and other forms of decoration. It was a big occasion in the city. The prince came into the station on the railway from Clifden, was taken by horse and carriage around the Square, through the streets, and around by Raven Terrace and back to the Docks where his royal yacht was waiting.

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Going to market

Thu, Jul 23, 2020

“Every Saturday morning a procession of donkey-carts set out, nose to tail, for the market in Galway. This took place in the triangular patch by the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas. It dates from 1320 and was dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, who was chosen then as the patron saint of Galway. There the donkeys were unharnessed and tethered to a wheel, the shafts were let down to the ground and the goods to be sold were displayed on the sloping cart. Vendors came from many more prosperous areas and their wares were a source of envy to those who lived in the congested strip along the coast. Eggs in big wicker baskets with hinged lids, ducks, hens and chickens, wooden kegs of buttermilk, home churned butter laid in rolls on cabbage-leaves, cabbages, onions, sometimes geese, hand-knitted socks – all sold briskly throughout the morning to the people of the town.

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The Savoy Cinema

Thu, Jul 16, 2020

In 1933, plans had been completed and passed by the Galway Urban District Council for a new cinema to be built on Eglinton Street by the famous baritone, Mr Walter McNally. “The building will be beautiful and imposing, designed on the most up-to-date lines. The theatre will have seating for over 800 on the ground floor while the balcony will be capable of holding over 300.”

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Middle Street, c1920

Thu, Jul 09, 2020

Our photograph shows Olly Shea from High Street with his two cousins, the Brays from Father Griffin Road. They are standing in Middle Street which looks very wide with nothing parked there. The building on the far left was a tenement which later became a timber yard. Next door was a store which was owned by O’Gormans. The building beside that, with the white gable, was Tim Murphy’s; he ran a second-hand clothes shop there and carded wool. Next door was another tenement which was later taken over by Corbett’s timber yard.

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Students rolling in money

Thu, Jul 02, 2020

In 1961 a group of 11 students from UCG decided to roll a barrel from Galway to Dublin and to collect money for the relief of famine and suffering in the Congo on the way. They wanted to roll the barrel, but the bands fell off before they got to St Patrick’s Church, so they borrowed an old pram from someone.

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