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The Electric Telegraph – 1851

Tuam Herald 22nd November, 1851 p3.

Kinvara Quay Photo: EO'D
Kinvara Quay
Photo: EO’D

The Electric Telegraph
The Pocket states that the Midland Great Western Railway Company have made arrangements for the immediate erection of the electric telegraph wires between Dublin and Galway. The work will be done without a moment’s delay, and it is hoped that the telegraphic communication will be completed before the arrival of the first trial steamer from America.

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Galway/Clare – 1851

Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Photo: Norma Scheibe

3rd October, 1851
(abridged)

The Boards of Guardians of the different Unions persist in their refusal to make rates for the repayment of the Government advances. Among the repudiators whose proceedings are recorded this week, are the Guardians of the Galway and Clare Unions and a meeting has been called of deputies from all the Unions in the province of Munster, with a view to oppose the demand of the Government.

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Fowlers – 1851

Manchester Guardian 7th June, 1851 p 5

Inismore, Arran.. Wikimedia Commons
Inismore, Arran..
Wikimedia Commons

Irish Cliff Fowlers (abridged)
I shall here outline the different methods I have witnessed on the coast of Ireland of descending steep rocks for birds or eggs. At the Gobbins, a climber has been going down the rocks occasionally in the season for above thirty years.  He has a monopoly of the aerial exercise in consequence of being the only person in the vicinity supplied with a rope for the purpose. His preparation was the work of a moment; throwing his shoes off, and a noose of the rope over his head so as to embrace his body beneath the arms.  Down he dropped from the summit, with much less concern than a lady steps from her carriage. Two or three men (generally his two brothers) ‘give out’ the rope, of which a coil is left back, some little distance from the summit of the cliff. They keep it tight until the egg-gatherer reaches the ledges containing the nests, when he gives a signal to slack it. The liberty thus afforded him to move to either side prevents the necessity of shifting the rope laterally at the summit of the cliff, where it is kept to the same place all the time.

The method adopted at Arranmore, the largest of the islands of Arran off Galway Bay was different. When Mr R. Ball and I visited that island in July 1834 a rock climber – a tall athletic fellow – came up behind, unheard in his ‘pompootes’ .  He was lowered over the loftiest limestone cliffs of the island, perhaps five hundred feet in height. His manner of descent was free and easy. He sat upon a stick, about a yard in length and two inches in thickness, to the middle of which one end of the rope was fastened, the other being held by men above.

When coming near his prey, he held the rope in one hand, and with the other threw a rope fastened to a rod around the birds. Several gulls so taken were brought up. When over the cliff he leapt as far into the air from the surface of the precipice as he could do without injury to himself from the rebound. He likewise performed various antics, and with the stick as a seat, looked quite comfortable and at his ease.
Thompson’s Natural History of Ireland.

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Census Report – 1851

New York Daily Tribune 17th July, 1851 p4 (abridged)

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

We publish this morning the details of the Irish Census of 1851. Facts more startling were never contained in figures, and yet they are little more than we have expected. They are what the causes long in operation have tended to make them.

While other countries have been increasing in population, Ireland has at this day three hundred thousand people fewer than thirty years ago; above a million and a half fewer than ten years ago, and two millions less than it would have been at the usual rate of increase. The diminution has been caused by disease and emigration.

It is estimated that at least half a million of persons have died by famine within these ten years. There are even fewer houses now than there were then. Above a million have emigrated because at home despair and death alone awaited them in the future. Apologists for human wickedness and disorder blasphemously call this exterminating process the Visitation of God. We proclaim it to be the Crime of Man.

Ireland is a fair and pleasant country. Its climate is genial, its soil fertile, its position excellent. It might support in abundance a dense and happy population. The people are industrious and endowed by nature with talents and qualities that, if developed would make their green island a paradise on earth. But now it is a Hell.

It has been prevented from attaining any kind of independence, forbidden from engaging in foreign commerce, allowed no manufactures to spring up there.

We shall be told, no doubt, of the improvidence of Irishmen; but what made them improvident? Was the ever a provident nation that had become habituated to being plundered and dispossessed of everything which prompts to thrift and foresight? We shall be told too, of the tendency of the religion professed by the Irish to keep nations in the background; but this cannot account for a tithe of the facts in the case. It is still certain that landlordism, taxation and the monopoly of manufactures and commerce have been enough ten times to ruin the most powerful and energetic people that ever existed.

Let no man in these days dare to say that the loving and blessed Heaven sends war, pestilence and famine to devastate and destroy the nations. God gives man blessings, not curses and starvation. Disease and misery are the work of human wrong and human ignorance alone.

The very year of the famine there was shipped for sale food enough to have saved the death of the hundreds of thousands then perishing. Had the soil belonged to the people and had they no taxes to pay but those for the support of their own government they would have eaten this food and lived.

Looking around the circle of humanity, there appear so many established wrongs still perpetuated by self-interest and a blind obedience to authority, tradition and prejudice, that it is impossible to regard any social order or any nation as either wholly free from stain or wholly worthy of condemnation. It will be well for us and for the world if the lessons taught by those facts are taken to heart and acted on.

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Shannon Bridge – 1851

Freeman’s Journal 4th December, 1851 p4

  © Copyright Robert Bone  Creative Commons
© Copyright Robert Bone Creative Commons

The crowning finish was given on Saturday the 19th of July to the great line of railway from Dublin to Galway, by placing the last rail on the Shannon Bridge. This splendid structure is 500 feet in length and constructed of wrought iron girders, with openings of 165 feet in the clear.

Mr Hermans, the chief engineer of the line, came with a staff of assistants to witness the completion of the bridge and test its strength by driving the locomotive over it. By ten o’clock at night, after great exertion, the closing rail was cut and laid in place, and amidst the cheers of a great crowd of spectators, the Venus engine was driven four times rapidly from end to end of the bridge, which bore the weight without the slightest apparent deflexion. The line was to be inspected for the Government in the course of the ensuing week and would be open to the public on the 1st of August

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Bright days for Galway = 1851

Galway  Wikipedia.org
Galway
Wikipedia.org

South Australian Register 22nd September, 1851 p3
Bright days seem to be in store for Ireland. The Midland Great Western Railway Company were making strenuous efforts to complete the works on their line to Galway. The rails had been laid down on the whole line, with the exception of a few miles, and there was no doubt but that they would have the line ready for traffic in a few weeks.

In the West of Ireland the most confident hopes were entertained that an American steamer would shortly appear in the Bay of Galway to test the advantages of that port for mail communication between America and Europe. These sanguine expectations were by no means unfounded. The Freeman stated that letters had been received in Dublin, announcing that the North America, a United States steamer of great power and marvellous speed, had been chartered to start on the 17th June from New York for Galway with passengers, and that she might be expected to appear off the west coast of Ireland about the 25th June. It would, therefore, appear that American enterprise had determined to settle a point which many English and certain Irish interests had pronounced dubious. The Belfast Chamber of Commerce, with a generous candour which will do that Chamber immortal honour, had presented a memorial to the British Government in favour of Galway.

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Bright days for Galway – 1851

Kinvara Harbour Galway Bay Photo: Norma Scheibe
Kinvara Harbour
Galway Bay
Photo: Norma Scheibe

South Australian Register 22nd September, 1851 p3 
Bright days seem to be in store for Ireland. The Midland Great Western Railway Company were making strenuous efforts to complete the works on their line to Galway. The rails had been laid down on the whole line, with the exception of a few miles, and there was no doubt but that they would have the line ready for traffic in a few weeks.

In the West of Ireland the most confident hopes were entertained that an American steamer would shortly appear in the Bay of Galway to test the advantages of that port for mail communication between America and Europe. These sanguine expectations were by no means unfounded. The Freeman stated that letters had been received in Dublin, announcing that the North America, a United States steamer of great power and marvellous speed, had been chartered to start on the 17th June from New York for Galway with passengers, and that she might be expected to appear off the west coast of Ireland about the 25th June. It would, therefore, appear that American enterprise had determined to settle a point which many English and certain Irish interests had pronounced dubious. The Belfast Chamber of Commerce, with a generous candour which will do that Chamber immortal honour, had presented a memorial to the British Government in favour of Galway.

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Another extraordinary fish story – 1851

Photo: Greg Skomal/NOAA Fisheries Service Wikipedia.org
Photo: Greg Skomal/NOAA Fisheries Service
Wikipedia.org
https://widgetworld3.wordpress.com/podcasts/
The Argus 11th March, 1851 p4
ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY FISH STORY
(abridged)
A short time since, no small excitement was produced in Londonderry by a report that the Fenella iron steamer, on its way down the lough, had been piratically attacked off Ennishowen Head by some indescribable animal. It seized the vessel by the bow with its jaws and dragged it all the way into Portrush harbour – the very port to which the vessel was bound. The terror of the passengers and crew was greatly augmented by beholding the creature preparing to board. They were saved from the cruellest of all imaginable deaths by the prompt interposition of a party of the constabulary. With repeated volleys they compelled the monster to a hasty retreat.

It seems that when the Fenella was at the tail of the Tons, nearly opposite to Downhill, those on board felt as if she had grazed upon something, which they supposed might be a sunken wreck, though from the depth of the water, that was scarcely possible. Some observed an agitation about the bow as if caused by a huge animal. When the Fenella reached Portrush harbour (about seven miles further) it was observed by those on shore, as well as some on board, that an enormous fish had hold of the vessel by the bow with its jaws. It turned out that the marks of its teeth were distinctly imprinted in the paint of the bow (which, like the rest of the vessel is of iron).

It was then twilight, so that its shape could not be well observed; but it was judged to be fourteen teet in length, and of a very dark colour. We think that it may have been one of the basking sharks which are common off the coast of Galway.
Londonderry journal.