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Galway fracas – 1891

Pontypridd Chronicle and Workman’s News

Galway Harbour Photo: Art Wikimedia Commons
Galway Harbour
Photo: Art
Wikimedia Commons

2nd January 1891

The Dublin Express says that on Christmas night a disturbance took place between about 20 navy stokers, who are home in Galway on furlough from Plymouth, and about 20 men of the Connaught Rangers. A police patrol (three in number) interposed, and succeeded in inducing the military to desist; but when they advised the stokers to follow this example the latter turned on the patrol and beat them, whereupon the police drew their batons and dealt about them with a vigour that soon caused the stokers to beat a retreat through Mainguard-street. Here they were met by the soldiers, who attacked them with their belts, soldiers, wounding several of them, and obliging them to visit the doctors’ establishments to get their injuries dressed. One of the police patrol was also very much injured.

The Connaught Rangers acting under the impression that their assailants were men belonging to H.M.S. Banterer, being ignorant of the Christmas visit of the stokers, determined to have satisfaction, and with this object in view, a party of about 50 of them went to the dock on Friday night, and getting alongside H.M.S. Seahorse, which was also lying in the dock, and which they mistook for the Banterer, they asked the blue jackets to come forward and meet them in fair fight. They were informed by a man on board that the vessel was not the Banterer; and in the meantime word was conveyed to the latter vessel of the hostile intentions of the soldiers, whereupon, it is stated, the officer then in charge of the ship desired all hands to get on deck, and, opening the war-chest, had every man armed.
He then gave orders that should the Rangers make an attack they were to defend themselves, but not to kill, and to endeavour if possible to make prisoners of the entire force, and have them placed in irons.

When the would be attackers did arrive, however, and witnessed, the preparations made for their reception they held a council of war on the wharf at a safe distance from the defenders of the warship, and while this was in progress intelligence was conveyed to the military barracks of what was going on at the dock. A strong picket was at once sent out, on the arrival of which the besiegers beat a hasty retreat; but not before some of the leaders were captured. It is but fair to say for the credit of this gallant regiment that any disturbances which have brought the name of the Rangers into disrepute have on all occasions been brought about by recruits.

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Irish Independent 4th December, 1934 p12

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Photo: Norma Scheibe

Mr Sean Russell I.R.A. unveiled a memorial cross and delivered an oration near the spot where the mutilated bodies of Patrick and Harry Loughnane (brothers) were found in November, 1920, at Carragaroe,(sic.) Kinvara.
The brothers were members of the Volunteers and were taken from home by the Black and Tans; their bodies being discovered in a pond some weeks later.
Members of the I.R.A. from many districts, including many old comrades in the Volunteers, paraded to the spot, where they formed a guard of honour and recited a decade of the Rosary in Irish.

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Francis A. Fahy – Kinvara Amateur Theatricals – 1870

Nation 8th January, 1870 p9

Mr Francis A. Fahy, Kinvara. Photo: Connacht Tribune 8th March 1924 p14
Mr Francis A. Fahy, Kinvara.
Photo: Connacht Tribune 8th March 1924 p14

(from a correspondent)

On Monday evening the gentleman of the above amateur company gave a dramatic entertainment at the courthouse, Kinvara, for the benefit of the wives and families of the political prisoners, which brought together a large and respectable audience to witness tho production of a new piece, “The Last of the O’Learys,” specially written for the occasion by Master F’rancis A. Fahy, a young gentleman only just attained the age of fifteen, whose extraordinary talent foreshadows a brilliant and successful future.

The temporary theatre was handsomely decorated, and the scenery and other properties, including dresses, were quite in keeping with the taste and judgment with which the pieces were put upon the stage. The young gentlemen who took part in the representation displayed a far more than adequate conception of the role entrusted to them, and acquitted themselves in a manner that elicited continuous and well-merited applause.

As “The O’Leary,” Master Francis Fahy’s acting displayed, a considerable amount of skill and histrionic merit, and repeatedly brought down the house. ” Irelington,” an English adventurer, possessing the confiscated patrimony of the “O’Learys,” was admirably personated by Mr. St. George Joyce; while “Bill Scratch,” his friend and accomplice, was as equally well delineated by Mr. Joseph Fahey. The impersonation of “Larry Duggan,” by Mr. H. Kilkelly, was rendered with much effect. Mr J. P. Linane, as “Captain Harly,” was most happy in his selection of the rollicking, swaggering English officer; as was also Mr. T. F. O’Gorman, in the character of “Terry,” his valet. The other characters were equally well sustained.

The amusements concluded with a laughable farce, entitled ” The Spectre Bridegroom;” so that a pleasant and entertaining evening, in every sense, was enjoyed by those present, and we have only to add that the gentlemen who cater for the public amusement with such a noble object, are deserving of a meed of praise for their patriotism and public spirit. Wo understand the company propose giving a series of Irish entertainments.

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A pair of mittens – 1838

Monmouthshire Merlin 17th March, 1838

Centre de Documentació Museu Tèxtil de Terrassa Photo: Kippelboy  Wikimedia Commons
Centre de Documentació Museu Tèxtil de Terrassa
Photo: Kippelboy
Wikimedia Commons

At the late assizes for Clare a man was indicted for stealing a pair of woollen mittens: he pleaded guilty. The learned judge (Perrin) sent for the magistrate by whom the man had been committed for trial, and demanded why a person charged for so trivial an offence had been detained in prison from November last until this time without being brought to trial.

It was stated in explanation that no Crown business had been brought forward at quarter sessions during the interval between those two periods. Judge Perrin observed that this might be a sufficient excuse but declared his determination not to try any case of a similar nature which might have been tried at a previous quarter sessions. He would object, however, to discharge the jail of prisoners charged with trifling offences, provided no session of the peace should have intervened between their committal and the time of the assizes.

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A singular occurrence – Galway – 1835

Welshman 2nd October 1835.

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

In 1830 a lady came to reside in Galway bringing with her a very interesting daughter about eight years of age. The husband of the lady had deserted her, and no tidings of him could be had. Whilst in Galway she married again, and died in childbed of her first child by the second marriage.
Upon coming to Galway she was engaged by a most respectable lady in town to give lessons to her children, and the lady was so struck with the child of the visiting governess that she took it into her house and generously afforded her a home. All this time the poor child knew nothing of her father; she supposed him to be dead, and the second husband of the mother had left the town.
Suddenly and quite unexpectedly, a great change came across the views of the doubly orphaned object of the benevolent lady’s care. A few days ago the first husband of the visiting governess – the child’s father – who was considered dead, arrived in Galway from India, with a considerable sum of money, the fruit of his industry. He inquired for his wife and found that she had been the wife of another, and had gone to the grave.
He then inquired for his child. He discovered her abode and claimed her as his own. The lady, beneath whose roof she had been nurtured, was most anxious to retain her, but the returned parent could not be prevailed upon, and after pouring out his grateful acknowledgments to the humane lady who had been a mother to the reputed orphan, he left with his young charge for the county of Cavan.

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Ballyvaughan/New Quay – 1849

Parliamentary Papers; 1780- 1849 Volll 11, Part 1. p138(abridged)

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Photo: Norma Scheibe

In the Ballyvaughan and New Quay District the Subscribers state that several of the chief Proprietors, who are mainly non residents, contribute nothing to the Dispensary. In proof of this statement eighteen such individuals were mentioned, whose joint annual rental is £12,000 a year. As the District is poor, those whose subscriptions support the charity consider it a hardship that, as occupiers, they should be doubly taxed while many owners do not contribute by subscriptions nor by assessment. The Medical Officer resides at Kinvara; his duties appear to be very diligently performed.

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Execution at Galway Gaol – 1885

Galway Gaol Image; Galway Library

Aberystwyth Observer 24th January 1885 (abridged)

Thomas P,, who shot his sweetheart in August last, was hanged on Tuesday morning at a few minutes after eight o’clock, in Galway Gaol. The condemned man slept well during the night, and ate his breakfast heartily. He was afterwards strapped inside his cell by the executioner, B, and was then conducted to the scaffold by the prison officials, a warder holding him by the left arm.
He answered the responses of the chaplain in an audible voice, and when ascending the steps of the scaffold a warder caught him by the arm to support him, but P. shook off his grasp, saying that he could ascend unassisted. B. motioned to him where to stand, and he took his place, still continuing the responses to the chaplain’s prayers. No hitch or delay of any kind occurred, and death appeared to be instantaneous.
The condemned man had appeared to expect, when he was respited for a week to enable the Lord Lieutenant to consider his case, that the respite would lead to a reprieve, and when he was told a second time to prepare for death he seemed paralysed with fear. During the past two days, however, he had become more resigned, and before his end he had recovered his customary composure.
At the inquest a long statement was produced from P., which he handed to the governor of the prison immediately before his execution, in which he expressed his sorrow for the crime, and acknowledged the justice of the sentence. He thanked his friends for endeavouring to get him reprieved, and the officials for their kindness during his confinement in gaol; and, in conclusion, said:

My last declaration is that my mind was not right when I committed the deed, nor for a week previous, nor for some time afterwards. Therefore, my family and friends may rest assured that the testimony of the learned and skilful gentleman, Dr. K., as to the state of my mind on July 24, 1884, was correct, and I should be sorry to leave this world without doing this justice to a kind and Christian gentleman. 
It will be remembered that Dr. K., the doctor at the prison, testified all through that P. was insane; but Drs. C. and B., of Dublin, who were sent down by the Lord-Lieutenant to examine him, testified that he was quite sound in his mind.

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Galway Gaol – 1846

Welshman 25th February 1846

HMS Warrior - Prison Ship Mayhew, Henry and Binny John. The Criminal Prisons of London, and Scenes of Prison Life, Volume 3 of The Great Metropolis, Griffin, Bohn, and Company, 1862,  Wikimedia Commons
HMS Warrior – Prison Ship
Mayhew, Henry and Binny John. The Criminal Prisons of London, and Scenes of Prison Life, Volume 3 of The Great Metropolis, Griffin, Bohn, and Company, 1862,
Wikimedia Commons

At Galway county special sessions the board of superintendence applied for £7,350 for maintenance of the county gaol, bridewells, courthouses etc. The Rev Mr D’Arcy said that from the vast number of prisoners lately committed, the prison was more like a poorhouse than a gaol, there being nearly a thousand prisoners in it.

The state of the gaol was frightful and, in order to relieve it, an application had been made for a hulk to put some of the prisoners in, otherwise the spread of contagion would be awful. After some discussion the presentment was passed.

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The Slide Cars -1920

Freemans Journal 16th September, 1920 p12

Kinvara Photo; Norma Scheibe
Kinvara Photo; Norma Scheibe

The Slide Cars
Francis Carlin

We gathered the turf in the dusky bog,
And hauling it home on sliding cars,
We left the moor with its murky fog
And the mountainside with its stars.

But it seems to me, as I sit and poke
The burning earth from that mountain fen.
That we brought the fog and the stars as smoke
And sparks going back again

To a misty bog that holds the heat
Of a mountain stacked with burning stars.
Faith, it seems to me that we hauled both peat
And dreams on the sliding cars

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Loughrea – 1887

New Zealand Tabled 22nd April 1887 p19

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Photo: Norma Scheibe

On January 15 placards were posted in Loughrea and neighbourhood calling upon the tenants on the estates of Lord Clonbrock and other landlords to meet at four o’clock on the following day at the Cross roads, Holyhill. A strong force of police was consequently despatched to the place, but no meeting was held, and after remaining until a late hour the police discovered that the notices were intended to hoax them. The actual meeting was held at a place three miles distant and the tenants paid to the trustees considerable sums under the rules of the plan of campaign.