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The Galway Packet – 1859

The Irish Times 29th July, 1859 p1.

The Galway Packet Station

GALWAY, TUESDAY, 3, PM – Immediately after the conclusion of the crown business the doors of the grand jury room were opened, and your correspondent was admitted, who was the only representative of the press in attendance. The subject of the packet station and the subsidy was taken into consideration. The foreman (Sir Thomas Burke) in the chair. It was introduced by Christopher St. George, Esq., of Tyrone House, who after an able speech, which time does not admit of my reporting in full, proposed the following resolution:-

“We, the Grand Jury of the County of Galway, beg leave to express that, whilst we are steadfast in our opinion as to the inviolability of the contract entered into by the late government in respect to the establishment of a transatlantic packet station at Galway, we deem it necessary now to express in terms of the strongest disapprobation our condemnation of having referred to a committee of the House of Commons the consideration of this question which we had viewed as already determined on; and we further reprobate the formation of the committee.  We have to reiterate our previous statements as to the superiority of our claims to those of other applicants in favour of the measure, so vitally important to our local interests, and so replete with imperial advantages. We confidently expect that parliament will not only confirm the comparatively small subsidy of £78,000 in aid of the Galway packet station but will assist our exertions to obtain such loans of money as will improve our port.  We, on behalf of the county of Galway engage that, by all means at our disposal, we will advance the geographical eligibility of our bay for transatlantic communication.  We call upon the representatives of the county and of the town of Galway that they will hold as paramount to all other considerations the establishment of a transatlantic packet station at Galway, and we rely upon the exertions of the other representatives of Ireland so to act at this critical juncture that they will not suffer the interests of our common country to be overlooked.”

John Martin, Esq., of Tullyra Castle, said he had very much pleasure in seconding the resolution.

Mr. St. George said there was no precedent whatever for one government violating a solemn contract entered into by its predecessors in office.

The resolution was then signed by the foreman, on behalf of the grand jury, and it was resolved that a copy of it be transmitted to Lord Palmerston – Freeman Correspondent