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Duras Mills, Kinvara – 1898

Tuam Herald 24th December, 1898 p.4

Barley (Hordeum vulgare)  Photo: Cliff  Wikimedia Commons
Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
Photo: Cliff
Wikimedia Commons

John O’Dea, the proprietor of Duras Mills, Kinvara, was awarded second prize, Co. Galway Section by the Distillers Committee of the Royal Dublin Society’s Show, for the barley exhibited by him at the late show at Ballsbridge. The sample exhibited was taken out of a large quantity grown on Mr. O’Dea’s farm at Duras, and purchased at the Kinvara market by Messrs H.S. Persse, Ltd, Nuns Island Distillery, Galway. It speaks well for Mr O’Dea’s enterprise to be an exhibitor at the show and it is hoped his example will be followed by a good few of his neighbours entering for the Winter show, 1899. With a little more care and attention to the cultivation and saving of the crop there should be no difficulty in a Kinvara farm obtaining first prize, for the quality of the grain grown in the locality is second to none in Ireland.

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The races at Kinvara-Dooras – 1909

Connacht Tribune 31st July 1909 p.6

Pferdeauge  Photo: Waugsberg  Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Waugsberg
Wikimedia Commons

Garland Monday must be considered a red-letter day in the sporting annals of the town of the “Ould Plaid Shawl.” The Kinvara-Dooras Races were run on Monday, July 26th over the Newtown-Lynch course, and were a complete success. The entries were large and the racing good.  A large concourse of spectators were present, and all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Dublin bookmakers patronised the enclosure, and backers seemed to have got the better of the results. Some of the “bookies” complained bitterly of the knowledge of horse-flesh displayed by the patrons of the “sport of Kings,” and they appeared to have left under the impression that Kinvara men were keen sportsmen.  All races were started sharp to time, and all praise is due to Mr M. Donohue, Co. C., J.P. and his capable assistant stewards for their great efforts in having brought these races to such a successful conclusion.
The day was beautifully fine, which added to the enjoyment of the proceedings. Perhaps the best race of the day was the last, in which Mr W. Carr. D.C., figured as owner and rider of Salamanca, a horse, which he informed our sporting correspondent, “beat the train from Athenry to Ardrahan!” This achievement was speedily made known to the bookmakers, who seemed very slow to take any money on this famous racer, which was got by De Wet, out of Ladysmith. Salamanca carried 11st 4lb., a weight which seemed to have told with deadly effect on the animal.

Mr. W. Carr (Bill) made a most plucky effort to win the race, and when hazel seemed to have no effect on Salamanca, he had recourse to another expedient. Viewing the leading horses from across the course, he made a desperate effort to head them by riding right across.  Happily for the leaders, the marquees formed a rather formidable barrier and, instead of shortening his course, Bill lengthened it somewhat. To his credit, be it said, he was in no way despondent, and finished game.
Dr. Connolly’s Kinvara Boy was a most popular win, and when the jockey, John Killeen, dismounted, he was met by an enthusiastic crowed of sportsmen who carried him on their shoulders over the course.
Special mention should be made of the fine performance of Railway Boy.
The course was in perfect condition and Mr M. O’Donohue seemed to be ubiquitous – acting as a Clerk of Scales, Starter, Judge, and as a dispenser of hospitality. He will long be remembered by patrons of these races.

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Sporting Intelligence – 1875

Irish Examiner 12th August, 1875 p.3

 "Rock of Gibraltar" Photo: Avocado kebab Wikimedia Commons

“Rock of Gibraltar”
Photo: Avocado kebab
Wikimedia Commons

Galway Races
This meeting was begun, when weather of the most charming character favoured the proceedings. The attendance was extremely numerous and fashionable, and included all the well-known racing men. The course was in excellent order. There is every prospect of a splendid day’s sport.

The result of the principal races are as follows;
The Kitten – 1
Mr Cockin – 2
The Nufght – 3
6 ran.

Liberator – 1
Mimulus – 2
Pride of Kildare – 3

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At Galway (Races) – 1909

Connacht Tribune 7th August, 1909 p.8

Still from Horse in Motion Eadweard Muybridge "Sallie Gardner" owned by Leland Stanford 1878 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Still from Horse in Motion
Eadweard Muybridge
“Sallie Gardner” owned by Leland Stanford
1878 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Galway, scarce two months ago.
Silent lay ‘neath Sol’s bright glow,
Save where horses lean and slow
Were tugging tramcars wearily.

But Galway sees another sight,
When crowds of visitors alight.
Fondly expecting beds at night,
Amidst the race-week revelry.

Boys of the Horsey Old Brigade.
Who ‘oft a mad career have stayed
Confident matron, timid maid,
Are there in all their finery.

They shake the hills with “Won by Heaven,”
As the nimble steed’s to victory driven.
Mid language (let us hope forgiven),
From bookies breathing hurriedly.

But reddest hues of paint shall glow
On Galway’s town, so quaint and slow
When training’s laws aside shall throw
Those jocks disporting playfully.

‘Tis morn – the shocked and startled sun
Looks down on fast and furious fun,
Where early “Peelers” try to run
In members of “Our ‘Varsity.”

The combat deepens. Never cave
in to the foe, Galwegians brave!
Wave, innkeepers, your long bills wave
And charge with wild effrontery.

Few, few shall part (for bread and meat,
And mild cigars, and whiskies neat),
With sums that fail to record beat,
For bold seaside chicanery.

Gladys H.LLawnroc.

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Stormy weather – Kinvara – 1911

Connacht Tribune 25th February, 1911 p.8

Stormy weather, Kinvara Photo: EO'D
Stormy weather, Kinvara
Photo: EO’D

Grave Situation in Kinvara (abridged)

Questions in Parliament.

Mr Duffy had the following questions down for Wednesday, but we have not yet received the replies:
To ask the chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware of the disturbance that was imminent in the Kinvara district, Co. Galway, during the past 12 months owning to the attitude taken up by the trustees of the Sharpe estate in respect to the sale of the estate; does he know that an understanding was arrived at last October, as between the agent to the property and the tenants, to the effect that a request would be made immediately to the Congested Districts Board to acquire the entire estate, including the town.

Has such a request been made; and what is the cause of the delay in dealing with this estate?

Question 2:
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that the district in and around Kinvara is one of the most congested in the west of Ireland; has it come to his knowledge that the people for years have been requesting the various public departments to purchase the available lands in the neighbourhood for allocation amongst them; can he say what time has now elapsed since the Blake-Foster estate, Kinvara district, was first offered for sale; is he aware that the agent, Mr W. E. Holmes, Roscommon, offered the estate to the Congested Districts Board last May; and having regard to the history of the estate and the conditions which prevail on this property, whether he will direct the attention of the Congested Districts Board to the estate and state the cause of their inaction:

Question 3;
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the estate of Colonel Lopdell, Athenry, situated at Cappamore, Kinvara, County Galway, is one of the estates to be dealt with by the Estates Commissioners; has the estate been inspected and purchase sanctioned by the Commissioners seeing that a considerable number of years have passed by since the tenants agreed to purchase their holdings; and having regard to the quantity of mountainous land on the estate which would become available for allotment, whether he will call the attention of the Estate commissioners to the delay in dealing with this property?

Question 5;
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether any request to sell his estate in the districts of Duras, Funshin and New Town has been made to Mr Wilson Lynch Belvior, Sixmilebridge, Clare, by the Congested Districts Board and when and with what result?

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R.I.P? – 1878

The Connaught Telegraph 5th October, 1878 p.3 (abridged)

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Photo: Norma Scheibe

After a life of consummate villainy, crowned by the most awful calamity which can afflict a human intellect, Judge K passed to his great account at Bingen on Monday last. The friends of the deceased have informed the public that his last moments were clear and lucid, and that, on the dim threshold of eternity, he accepted with humble penitence the consolations of that religion which he had spurned and blasphemed during his life. God grant it may have been so! Human hatred ceases on the borderland between life and death, and K’s deadliest enemy will not regret if the closing scene of his existence was really as full of hope as it has been described.

K was probably the most corrupt politician that Ireland every produced. Other men have perjured themselves perhaps as deeply, but none ever brazened out their perjuries with the same unblushing front. Of a bad lot he was pre-eminently the worst. With such men as S and O’F. to dispute with him the laurels of iniquity, he came forth victorious from the ignominious struggle and raised himself to a special pedestal of infamy.

O’F. had a weakness for the Treasury Bench which he extended subsequently to the Treasury bonds, but he was after all but a vulgar type of political swindler. S. was a knave and a clever one; well up in the manipulation of bank stock, and an expert at the forging of title deeds. But even he had something human about him; and when he found that all his plans were defeated, and that the Bank was on the verge of ruin, he had not the courage to face the public obloquy in store for him.

K. was essentially the Lucifer of the Triumvirate. The gibbering fantasies of such a man are not, however, a pleasant theme for the pen of the journalist. He has gone to find out the Great Hereafter, and he has left behind him a name which will be long remembered as the very incarnation of audacious falsehood.

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The Connaught Smuggler – 1881 (concluded)

Cork Examiner, Supplement 23rd July, 1881 (abridged)

Galway Cathedral Photo; Norma Scheibe
Galway Cathedral
Photo; Norma Scheibe

“Madam,” said he.
“You must excuse me for stopping you.  While I have every desire to be civil to a lady, I have received information I can depend on, that you have just landed from the East India fleet with a quantity of goods about you.  You must submit to be searched; which I must now proceed to do, in the most accurate manner consistent with my respect for your sex and quality.”
Biddy was at this account, no doubt, surprised and distressed, but in no way thrown off her centre.  Without any hesitation, she replied;
“Sir, many thanks to you for your civility. I am quite aware you are but acting according to information, and doing what you consider your duty; and sir, in order to show how much you are mistaken, I shall at once alight.  I am sure, sir, a gentleman like you will help a poor, infirm woman, labouring under my sad complaint, to alight with ease. The mare – bad manners to her – is skittish, and it requires all my servant’s hands to hold her.”

To the servant she said;
“Luke, avick! This gentleman insists on taking me down.  Hold hard the beast while I am alighting – I’ll do my endeavours to get off – there sir – so Button” (speaking to her horse).
“Now, hold up your arms, sir, and I will gently drop. Yes, that will do.”
And with that she plopped herself into the little dapper excise man’s arms.
A summer tent, pitched on a Syrian meadow might as well bear up against the down tumbling avalanche as this spare man could the mountain of flesh that came over him in the form of Biddy.  Down he went sprawling, as Biddy had intended he should do, and she uppermost, moaning and heaving over him. And there they lay, when with stentorian voice, Biddy cried to her boy Luke;
“Luke, bouey, ride off; never mind me! The gentleman, I’m sure will help me up when he can! Skelp away mo bouchall.”
In the meanwhile, the excise man lay groaning and Biddy moaning.

I shall not attempt to describe the remainder of this scene. I leave it to the imagination of the reader to suppose that the smuggler kept her position just so long as she thought it gave time enough for her property being carried far away from the hands of the overwhelmed gauger.

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The Connaught Smuggler – 1881

Cork Examiner, Supplement 23rd July, 1881

Spanish arch, Galway Wikimedia Commons Photo: Sylvia
Spanish arch, Galway
Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Sylvia

The Connaught Smuggler (Part 2) (abridged)
A large fleet of East Indiamen, unable to beat up channel, due to north-easterly winds, was obliged to put into Galway Bay for water and provisions, and there these huge merchantmen lay at anchor, freighted not only with tea and indigo, but with those delicate muslins which Manchester had not yet learned to imitate.

Now, it was known to Biddy Bod that each officer and sailor, might have a supply of such valuable goods as a private venture, and to make her own market, she went on board. Expert as she was in smuggling, she knew how and where about her own ample person to stow away soft goods. She, by nature large and was also ‘prone’ to dropsy.  The swelling of her legs and body was sometimes awful. What medicine she used to get down the enlargement, whether belladonna or digitalis, is not recorded, but she did now and then keep down her dropsical dispositions and “became small by degrees and beautifully less.”
On her return from the India fleet, Biddy Bod had a full fit of ‘dropsy’. Her body was like a rhinoceros;s, her legs like those of the largest elephant of the King of Siam; she might have got the elephantiasis from being  so near, (while on board the fleet), the elephant which the Nabob of Arcot was sending as a present to Queen Charlotte.  So she landed, in all her amphoteric, west of Claddagh.  When she did she (as I may say) tapped herself.  She unrolled all the gold and silver muslin, the wonders of the India loom; Cashmere shawls from her person. These she stuffed into the hollow of an immense pillion  fastened on her large black button tailed mare.   By help of a convenient granite stone she mounted,  her man Luke before her, with her arm confidingly placed around said Luke’s waist.  They departed,  slow paced and sure, away from the town of Galway and  the custom house, the dreaded custom house. They took the road to Athenry  and all seemed safe. All of a sudden, at the turning of the road, out bounced a smart, dapper, active eyed, but rather diminutive man, and caught hold of the rein of her bridle.   More…