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Kinvara – 1873

Kinvara c 1960 Creswell Archives
Kinvara c 1960
Creswell Archives

The Irish Canadian

23 July 1873

The local Government Board for Ireland have prohibited burials in the Cemetery at Kinvarra, in the parish of Kinvarradoorus, County Galway.

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Craughwell – 1912

Model T Ford - 1908 Wikimedia Commons
Model T Ford – 1908
Wikimedia Commons

The Arrow 20th July 1912

COUNTY GALWAY  (abridged)

An amazing story of life at County Galway was told at the trial in Dublin last month of five men, Patrick Callanan, Michael Furey, Denis Kearns, Martin Moran, and Thomas Brennan, who were charged with shooting with intent.

The Solicitor-General said thirteen men were coming from Loughrea, in Galway. after attending a meeting of the Executive of the United Irish League, on the evening of January 21. At Craughwell they were fired upon by a party who were concealed. When passing William Furey’s house, which was about one mile from Craughwell, a FUSILLADE WAS OPENED ON THEM, and nothing but a miracle saved them from being killed.

There were fourteen men and one girl on three cars. At six o’clock on this even ing the prisoners were assembled in William Furey’s house. The occupants of the cars were singing, and the prisoners were perfectly aware who they were. When the second car got opposite William Furey’s between fifteen and twenty shots were fired at the occupants. John Kane was driving, and beside him was John Linnane, who was able to identify the prisoners by the light of the two powerful lamps which each car carried. It must have been revolvers that were fired, but the aim was bad,

When the first volley was fired the second car turned round, with the result that the light of the lamps was cast on the faces of the prisoners.  These men wore no masks, but committed this outrage without disguise.  Kane’s foot was struck with a revolver bullet and a bullet also passed through the step of the second car.

Mr. Justice Boyd, in the course of his charge to the jury, said he was amazed at the evidence that had been given.

The jury found the prisoners ‘Not guilty.’  Mr. Justice Boyd said, “I may say I thoroughly agree with the finding of the jury. I think probably they were there; I think probably they did what they ought not to have done; but on the whole facts of the case, as proved in evidence, I think the jury very wisely said ‘Not guilty.’

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Mr Hearst’s Collection – 1939

William Randolph Hearst 1906 wikimedia commons
William Randolph Hearst
wikimedia commons

Advocate 5th January, 1939


LONDON, November 30.

The magnificent collection of silver owned by Mr. William Randolph Hearst, the American newspaper proprietor, and housed at St. Donat’s Castle, will be sold at Christie’s next month. The collection includes the Great Mace and Civic Sword of the City of Galway, which joined Mr. Hearst’s possessions in 1935 at a cost of £5000.

Tho mace, weighing 230 oz., was presented in 1712 to Galway by the Mayor, Edward Eyre. The double-handed sword, with silver pommel, grip, and quillons ornamented with cabochons, had a sheath mounted with silver plates inscribed with the names of Galway Mayors from 1660 to 1841.

NOTE – The sword and mace were later gifted by the Hearst Corporation to the citizens of Galway.

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A Remarkable Trial – Galway – 1850

Nuns on bicycle pass in front of the Cathedral of Wroclaw, Poland Photo: Yarl Wikimedia Commons
Nuns on bicycle pass in front of the Cathedral of Wroclaw, Poland
Photo: Yarl
Wikimedia Commons

South Australian Register 21st November 1850


The following is a compendium report of a recent remarkable trial in the Galway Record’s Court, Ireland.  Such was the public anxiety to hear this very novel trial, that at an early hour the Court was densely crowded. Mr Fitzgibbon, Q.C., stated the case.  This was an action brought by the administrator of Mrs Eliza McDonnell, to recover the sum of £500 given by her to the Sisters of Mercy, in the town of Galwav.  The circumstances were these :—

In March, 1846, Miss Harriet McDonnell, the daughter of Mrs McDonnell, was desirous of becoming a Nun of the Order of the Sisters of Mercy. Her sister, Mrs Ireland, at the request of Mrs McDonnell, called at the Convent of Mercy, to enquire as to the terms of the convent, and to settle with the nuns.  The Mother Abbess, stated that it was absolutely necessary that Miss McDonnell should spend six months as a postulant in the convent previous to her reception as a novice.  After the ceremony of her reception had taken place, she should pass two years in the convent as a novice before she could be professed.  She added that they could not, on any account, shorten the time of her profession, and that it could not be done without a dispensation from the Pope. They agreed to take the sum of £500 from Mrs McDonnell for the daughter, and that it should be left in the hands of her brother-in-law, Mr Ireland, until after her profession.  In the meantime they should receive the interest for her support.

In the month of May, 1846, the Rev. Peter Daly called on Mr Ireland, and told him that it would be of great service to the nuns if the family would give them the money at once, as they were going to invest some money on very favourable terms.  Mrs McDonnell agreed to give them the money, on their undertaking to return it in case either her daughter should wish to leave the convent before the regular time of her profession, as stated by themselves, or, in case of her death, before then.  They agreed to give the strongest guarantee to that effect, and Mrs White entered into the following agreement : —

Mrs Eliza M’Donnell— Madam, you have handed the Rev. Peter Daly, on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, £500 sterling, the sum agreed to be received from your daughter, Harriet McDonnell, on her being professed a nun in her community, which sum we engage to return you free of interest, should either the nuns or your daughter change their minds before the period of her said profession arrives, or in the event of her decease before then.

In the month of August, 1847, Miss McDonnell took a malignant fever.  After all hopes of recovery were over, the nuns had her professed a nun.  They now contend that, as she was professed on her dying bed, they have complied with the terms of the agreement – they rely on the ambiguity of the word profession, although it was clearly provided in the agreement, that in case of her death the money should be returned.

Counsel for the case contended that it would be absurd to put any other construction upon the words, ‘period of profession’ – as it was always in the power of the nuns, by that construction, to make the money their own, and to render their guarantee a mere mockery, by professing her dying.  They were permitted by the Bishop to profess her dying, merely as consolation; and, if she survived, she should be professed again.

The Bishop of Galway directed them to return the money but they preferred taking their chance in a court of law, thinking to evade the agreement by some ambiguity on the face of it.  They were unsuccessful.

The Jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, with £500 damages and 6d. costs.

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Galway via Iceland -1923

Porridge Photo; virtualSteve Creative Commons
Photo; virtualSteve
Creative Commons

The Queenslander 14th April, 1923


An Irish magistrate, referring to a report that the crew of a sailing ship lived for a month on beans cooked in sea water and were only prevented by rain from perishng of thirst, tells of an earlier incident which, he thinks, may be useful, as it shows the value of oatmeal under similar circumstances.

About 20 years ago a small vessel, manned by four men, was carried north almost as far as Iceland while trying to reach Galway. It was some weeks before they finally made Lough Swilly, where they drifted ashore. The captain had to account for the loss of his vessel before a magistrate. He said he believed the crew would have perished but for a bag of oatmeal among the provisions. Oatmeal requires salt, and they made porridge with salt water, a wholesome and palatable food that served both as food and drink.

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Loughrea – 1896

Loughrea Lake Wikimedia Commons Photo: Anthony
Loughrea Lake
Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Anthony
The Mercury 18th December, 1896 p3

Messrs Dillon, O’Brien, Harris and Sheehy, all Irish members of Parliament, were arrested by the police yesterday at Loughrea near Galway, while presiding over a committee for collection of rents, under the plan of campaign promulgated by the United Ireland newspaper.

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The Lost Island – 1879

Ireland as depicted on the 1572 map of Europe by Abraham Ortelius. Interesting are the prominent featuring of St. Patrick's Purgatory and the curious island of Brasil. Wikimedia Commons
Ireland as depicted on the 1572 map of Europe by Abraham Ortelius. Interesting are the prominent featuring of St. Patrick’s Purgatory and the curious island of Brasil.
Wikimedia Commons
New Zealand Tablet, Volume VII, Issue 327, 25 July 1879, Page 17

At a recent meeting of the Royal Dublin Society Dr. W. Frazer exhibited a copy of Tassin’s maps of the fortified towns of France, which was additionally interesting by its containing several original plans drawn by Tassin and bird’s-eye views of Casal and Evreux. It also contained a manuscript map of the opposite coasts of France and Britain, apparantly of the most scrupulous accuracy, and a Chart ot the Islands and Maritime Coasts of Europe, in which is to be seen the route and navigation of the Hollanders by the north of Ireland and Scotland during the wars with the English for the German Ocean.
The course is laid down from Holland along the Norwegian coasts then passes between Fair Island and Foula. It then continues along the western coast of Ireland passing Brazil, which is laid down much in the position now ascertamed to be occupied by the Porcupine Bank and hence the course continues direct to Rochelle.
This map is evidently no fanciful sketch. Every sailing point and headland has been skilfully laid down, either by one who has passed over the track itself, or by one who compiled it from most competent authority, and this at a time when no British ships appear to have sailed over these western seas, though we know that the Dutch and French sailors almost daily did.
The probable date of the unpublished and apparently unique work is 1640. This copy appears to be in the very handwriting of Tassin himself, who was geographer to the King, and it would, indeed, appear most probable that Brazil did, as an island, at this or about this time, hold its head over the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, though over its site, and after a lapse of more than two centuries, those very waters, to the depth of from 80 to 100 fathoms, now roll.

The evidence, then, would be in favour of Brazil having existed as an island off the entrance to Galway Bay in A.D. 1640, or thereabout, and of its having gradually subsided into the bosom of the ocean.

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Seizure of Steam Trawlers – Galway Bay – 1896

Trawl Net U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  Wikimedia Commons
Trawl Net
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXIV, Issue 4, 22 May 1896, Page 4

Special court was held in Galway for the purpose of trying the charges of illegal fishing preferred against the masters of two steam trawlers seized by a gunboat in Galway Bayfor illegal fishing etc.
The presiding magistrates were Messrs J O. Gardiner, P. M. and M. A. Lynch JP. The prosecution was carried on by Mr Underdown, head of the Customs, and the Inspectors of Fisheries, on whose behalf Messrs Blake and Kenny, solicitors, appeared. The defendants, J. T. Wales, of the trawler Traiton, and John Pettit, of the trawler General Roberts, were represented by Mr Gerald Clonerty, solicitor.

It appears that in the absence of Mr Pinkerton, Mr John Dillon put a question in Parliament which brought about the sending of a gunboat to watch illegal fishing in Galway Bay. Many complaints had been made by Claddaghmen of their boats being nearly run down by steam trawlers fishing the bay in the night time contrary to the fishery regulations.

The very first night the gunboat arrived in the bay the defendants’ vessels were seized. They were each fined £5 and costs for fishing within the prohibited limits, and £25 and costs for steaming about and trawling without having their lights on as prescribed by the bye-laws. Both vessels were from Milford Haven.

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Passenger to America – 1859

Galway wharf c1850
Galway wharf c1850

Freemans Journal 28th December 1859 p3 (abridged)
As an evidence of the confidence entertained by the people in the Galway Steam Packet Company, a child about four or five years of age was sent here from Limerick by the coach, labelled and directed “Passenger to America, care of William H. Butler, Esq”. This child was at once taken up by Mr Butler, well cared for and, as the vessel was about to proceed to sea, delivered up to a respectable family who will take care of this young emigrant until the arrival of the vessel in America, where friends will be met to claim it.
Shortly before the sailing of the ship, Captain Thompson, the superintendent, and Mr Butler went on board to inquire of the passengers whether they had any complaints to make or fault to find, but all expressed themselves highly pleased with their position. The mails taken out by the Circassian were heavier than on any previous occasion.

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Election time – Galway – 1858

Ballot Box Smithsonian Wikimedia Commona
Ballot Box
Wikimedia Commona

Freemans Journal 18th August 1858 p3 (abridged)

The Galway Freemen Disfranchisement Bill is likely to prove an exceedingly inconvenient and unpleasant measure to its originators and backers. There can be no doubt whatever that glaring and scandalous corruption existed in Galway, especially amongst the freemen, many of whom were accustomed on every occasion of an election to let themselves openly to the highest bidder.
The ostensible object of the Bill is to punish this corrupt abuse of political privileges. It is supposed that its supporters, (amongst whom are the very parties who practised and profited by bribery and corruption in Galway), have other motives for their exertions besides a new-born zeal for public morality.  The House of Commons accepts their zeal for what it may be worth, and puts to them a very simple but effective test.

As it is equally a crime to buy as to sell votes, the House has determined that, while the ignorant and needy freeman is visited with just punishment, the wealthy and educated briber shall not come off scot-free.  They shall not be rewarded for success in debauching a constituency to gain their party triumph.