Posted in Posts and podcasts

Castlebar, Galway, Gort, Kinvara – 1910

The W.A. Record (Perth, WA: 1888-1922)
Saturday 28th May, 1910 p.4
Castlebar District Council has adopted a resolution calling on the County Council to refuse financial aid to the National University until the demand for essential Irish is acceded to.
The Committee adopted a further resolution expressing disapproval of the action of the Board of Studies of the National University regarding Irish and asking the County Councils to stand from rewarding pecuniary aid until Irish is fairly treated.

Lord Clanricard obtained a number of decrees against his tenants at Gort Quarter Sessions for non payment of rent, and the Irish Land Commission obtained 80 decrees.

Mr Duffy M.P. speaking at a large meeting in Kinvara organised to protest against a refusal by the trustees of the Sharpe estate of a reduction in rents to the tenants, said if the present dispute were not stopped it would eventually involve the other local landlords and the Government in a row, the consequences of which nobody could forsee. Rev. Father Keely, P.P. who presided, said the tenants were determined to persist in their agitation till they had conquered.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Born in the village of Ardrahan – 1905

The W. A. Record (Perth W.A) 5th August, 1905 p. 12
Accompanying a recent contribution to the “Irish World’s” Gaelic Language Fund from a subscriber to that paper was the following terse poetic sentiment of the donor :
I’m just a plain hard-working man.
I was born in the village of Ardrahan,
And I like to do the best I can
To help dear Mother Erin.
For I spent many a happy day
In Galway, Tuam and Monivea,
Kinvarra, Gort and sweet Loughrea,
Athenry and old Kilclairin.
My hands are just as tough as leather,
My face is bronzed with wind and weather,
My heart is just as light as a feather,
As I mingle with the throng.
When times are bad I never holler,
Thank the Lord I can spare, a dollar
To help the cause along.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Dooras and Kinvarra – 1905

THE IRISH TIMES Friday, January 20, 1905 p.3
Yesterday Estates Commissioners Wrench and Bailey sat at the offices of the Estates Commissioners, 26 Merrion Street, for the purpose of giving judgment in the cases of the sale of the two estates of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company to the tenants in the County of Clare, at Dooras, and islands off the coast, and in the County of Galway, at Kinvarra. The property was formerly owned by Francis O’Donnellan Blake-Forster and Fanny and Henrietta Blake-Forster, and was taken from them by the Insurance Company who, as mortgagees, bought in the Landed Estates Court on the 30th July, 1902.
Mr. A. Samuels, K.C., appeared for the Insurance Company, the owners.
Mr. Valentine Kilbride, solicitor, represented the tenants both on the Clare and Galway properties.
The case arose on an application to the Estates Commissioners, to declare as an estate for the purposes of the Land Purchase Act, the lands in the County Galway, and in the County Clare, known in the Land Judge’s Court as the Blake-Forster estate, upon which there are a large number of tenants.
Mr. Samuels, K.C., said with regard to the Galway portion of the estate there were 78 holdings altogether, and of these there were only 15 on which agreements had been signed. All the others were held under judicial rents, that is to say, there were 63 judicial tenants on the estate. Suggestions had been thrown out that these were bogus agreements, and the matter had been made a political text by certain people. It was most unfortunate, he thought, that politicians should have interfered whilst the matter was pending.
Mr. Commissioner Bailey – We have nothing to do with that.
Mr. Samuels said that, as a matter of fact, the agreements had been fixed at a lower rate then even the corresponding judicial rents.

Mr. Wrench, in delivering his judgment, said:

Mr. Samuels has argued that where all the agreements come within the 1st section of the Act, as in this case, the Estates Commissioners have no discretion, but must declare the lands comprised in the application and estate for the purpose of the Act. This appears to me to be a purely legal question which should be determined by the judicial commissioner, and, if the parties so apply, it must be referred to him in accordance with Sub-section 1 of the 23rd section; and even if they do not so apply it should, in my opinion, be so referred to us. Pending the result of the judicial commissioner’s decision as to whether the Estate Commissioners have discretion in the matter or not it appears to me that it would be decidedly indiscreet of us to discuss beforehand the course we might properly adopt.
Mr. Commissioner Bailey, in delivering judgment for Commissioner Finucane and himself, said:

The vendor in this case lodged an originating application to have declared as a separate estate for the purpose of the Irish Land Act, 1903, certain lands which are set out in the first schedule to the application, and are situate in the Barony of Kiltartan, in County Galway, and in the Baronies of Burren and Corcomroe, in County Clare. The lands to which this application relate have not now come before the Land Commission for the first time. They formed Lots 2, 3 and 4 of a property which was for sale in the Land Judge’s Court in the matter of the estate of Francis O’Donnellan Blake-Forster, owner; Hester Blake-Forster and others, petitioners, and in respect of which the Land Judges issued a request under the 40th Section of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1896, on the 21st November, 1897. The Land Commission (Commissioners, Lynch and Wrench) made a report dated 30th June, 1899, respecting the Galway portion of the lands no for sale – known as the Kinvarra property – which was comprised in Lot 2 of the Land Judge’s rental, and the circumstances thereof, portion of which report is as follows: – “There are 77 holdings on this lot, and only six exceed £10 in rental value. They are, with a few exceptions, most inconveniently arranged, consisting of detached plots which, in some cases, are a mile or more distant from each other. Many of the holdings comprise from 20 to 30 different patches, and many of the parcels are held in common. The lands have been divided without any regard to their future profitable working, and any clearing or fencing done has added little to the letting value of the land.”
They particularly noticed one holding on the lands of Crosshooha, No. 12 to 13v on the map, occupied by Kate Moylan, in which there were 23 lots, besides undivided shares of the foreshore, and went on to say; –
“Having regard to the character of this estate, and the manner in which the holding have become sub-divided, and the undivided shares in which many of the plots are held, we are of opinion that, with the exception of four holding on the townland of Ballybranagan, none of the holdings on this lot could be sold to the occupying tenants under existing conditions, and that the case is one in which, as a condition precedent to sales under th 40th Section of the Purchase of Land Act, 1885, should be put in force with a view to the proper rearrangement of the holdings comprised in the lot. It further appears to us that advances under the Land Purchase Acts upon an estate so circumstanced would not be adequately secured, and that there would be no possibility of recovering instalment, or reselling holdings in the event of default.”

The Land Judge caused that report to be returned, stating that the Congested Districts Board had refused to buy the property, and requesting the Land Commission to estimate the prices at which the holdings could properly be sold on the occupying tenants. The Land Commission, in their further report, dated 5th November, 1900, stated with respect to this property that, with the exception of the townland of Ballybranagan, none of the holding should be sold to the occupying tenants, under existing conditions, that the holdings should be rearranged under the provisions of Section II of the Action of 1885, and that no advance could be made under the Land Purchase Acts on an estate so circumstances, and they said that as no rearrangement had been made, they assumed that the Land Judges contemplated offering the holdings to the respective occupiers without the suggested rearrangement upon the terms of cash payments. With a view, therefore, to assisting the Land Judge in forming an estimate of the selling value of the lot, they inserted in their original report, opposite each holding, the price at which, in their opinion, the holding might be sold for cash, but even a sale for cash they thought could not be made unless the question raised in their former report as to the rental and maps had been disposed of. The price of the holdings, if so sold for cash, in respect of which agreements for purchase have now been lodged under the Act of 1903, was then (in 1899) estimated by the Land Commission at £7,243, or 15.5 years’ purchase of the then existing rents. Subsequent to the date of the report the Scottish Union acquired the property which was conveyed to them by the Land Judge on the 30th July, 1902, and they now ask that it, together with certain other lands in County Clare, already referred to, be declared a separate estate for the purposes of the Act.

There appear to be now on the Kinvarra property 78 tenants, of whom 63 had judicial rents fixed by order of the Court form 1888 to 1898, and 15 by agreements and declarations to fix judicial rents lodged on 11th April, 1904, which were not filed till 11th July, 1904, so that it is questionable whether these tenancies, at the date of signing the purchase agreements i.e. 4th May, 1904 were holdings subject to judicial rents fixed or agreed to…

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Ballinderreen 1913

Collected by Kitty Moran, Ballinderreen N.S from Mrs Thomas Moran

Photo: EO’D

On Mr De Valeras first visit to Galway in the year 1913 the Sinn Féiners engaged all the sidecars in the parishes to go to the meeting. The meeting was held on New Year Day and the Sinn Féiners painted Pat Smyth’s horse because he did not go to Galway like the others. This song was composed by James O Connor Ballinderreen

Thomas dear and did you hear your horse was painted green
And taken from his stable and drove through Ballinderreen
We thought it was a circus horse with colours bright and gay
But it was a piece of good advice to remember New Years Day.

Pat Smyth arrived upon the seen and standing five foot two
He said he would revenge his gallant steed the pride of Caheradoo
He pursued the noble animal but his efforts were in vain
For the horse he boldly started off and snorted up Sinn Féin
Friends gathered round from Mulrook
and from Cillín Aran too.
To try to solve the mystery of the horse from Caheradoo.
But the perpetrators they were gone and behind them left no trail
They tied a flag upon his name and one hung from his tail
And sure it was an ugly thing to treat the horse like that
For we all had veneration for Tom and little Pat
The Sinn Feiners they are gone to hell and that’s plain to be seen
They’d paint the very devil in that place called Ballinderreen
So now to conclude and finish and I think its nearly time
I hope you will excuse me I’m a little out of rhyme
But they say the Smyths have sworn and promised without delay
To send their horse to Galway on the coming New Years day.

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0033B, Page 03_042
National Folklore Collection, UCD

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Galway – 1846

Indiana State Sentinel 19th march, 1846

Galway Cathedral Photo: EO'D
Galway Cathedral
Photo: EO’D

The government has again learned the necessity to increase the military force in Galway. A troop of the 13th Light Dragoons from Gort, arrived here on Tuesday, under the command of Captain Hamilton, for the purpose of repressing any outbreak among the people which may arise owing to the exportation of corn from this port.

Two companies of the 30th are likewise expected – one from Loughrea, the other from Oughterard – to aid the force in garrison, if necessary. This increase of troops is said to have been caused by the posting of a threatening notice at the Gashouse last week, to the effect that the merchant stores would be broken up by the people, if any further exportation of corn was attempted.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

An average harvest – 1835

The Sydney Gazette 7th May, 1835 p.4 (abridged)

Burren walls Photo: EO'D
Burren walls
Photo: EO’D

The harvest promises to be an average one, and all the misgivings that were felt during the course of the summer, as to the prospects of the potato crop, have, we are much gratified in stating, altogether given way. That crop will, perhaps, be more abundant this year than it has for several seasons previously. Public works are progressing in many places. The Shannon navigation, under the superintendence of that active, talented, and highly intelligent gentleman, Mr. Charles Williams, is advancing rapidly to a completion, thus opening the heart of the finest corn country in the world to the markets of England, and introducing the blessings of industry and civilization to what has been considered hitherto among the wildest districts of Ireland. In the west of Ireland, particularly in the counties of Mayo and Galway, an equal activity is shown in laying down roads through the mountainous districts, in building bridges and erecting piers. There can be no just complaint against government for want of aid.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Ranger – Galway – 1914

Tuam Herald 7th February, 1914 p.4 (abridged)

Map of walled city of Galway, Ireland of 1651. {{PD}} Original art work of 1651. This engraved and reduced copy of the original made for James Hardiman’s History of Galway by T Nolan dated 1820.

The soldiers in Galway have a journal to themselves. “The Ranger” has just been published and contains a large quantity of matter which must prove of great interest to the members of the famous Connaught Rangers.  The Editor states that for a long time a consensus of opinion was felt that the magazine should be printed in Ireland, and with this in view the Editor called for quotations from houses in Dublin and Galway, with the result that the contract was entrusted to the Galway Express Co., Ltd., Eyre Square, Galway, and the present number is the first which has ever been printed in Galway.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Frongoch – 1916

The Connacht Tribune, 1st July, 1916 (abridged)

Frongoch postcard

The censor of Frongoch internment camp informs us that Tuesdays and Thursdays are visiting days from 2 to 3 p.m. Prisoners can receive only one visit a month, and applications for permits must be made in writing to the Commandant, allowing sufficient time for reply by post. No admission is granted except on production of the permit. The following have been removed from Stafford to Frongoch;
James Fahy, Doughiska, Galway
Thomas Newell, Castlegar
John Murphy, Athenry
Michael Burke, Doughiska
William Cody, Claregalway
Thomas Silke, Castlegar
Michael Glynn, Lydican
Mr. Joseph O’Flaherty, Loughrea
William Harte, Oranmore
Richard Wilson, Loughrea
Dominic Corbett, Craughwell
Jeremiah Galvin, Slieverue
Christopher Caulfield, Athenry
Martin Walsh, Athenry
Peter McKeown, Athenry
Patrick Kennedy, Athenry
Joseph Cleary, Athenry
Pat Keane, Athenry
Ml Commons, Athenry
Ml Cunniff, Galway
Ml Costello, Galway
Martin Costello, Galway
Pat Costello, Galway
Martin McEvoy, Galway
John Cullinane, Galway
William Higgins, Galway
Michael J. Dunleavy, Galway
Richard Wilson, Galway.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Bridge of Sighs – Galway – 1828

Freeman’s Journal, 10th September, 1828 p.2 (abridged)

The bridge of sighs
The Bridge of Sighs, Venice Wikimedia Commons

The boats of Lough Corrib, not too well constructed in the first instance, are greatly injured by the yearly practice of dragging them through the town from the lake to the bog at the time of the herring fishery. This extraordinary and most dangerous exertion of these poor people would be rendered unnecessary by a short Canal, which would be of incalculable benefit to the town and county of Galway; but will it be believed that the proprietors of the town fear it would be of too great service to their country neighbours. They neglect this splendid improvement, whilst they have laid out an enormous sum on a bridge so low as to obstruct the water passage, but which has in face of it a most beautiful gaol, with gallows resembling the portcullis of a fortification, and somewhat reminding us of the bridge of sighs at Venice.