Down By the River
March 8th, 2007
This photograph was originally taken c.1950, and shows a group of traveller's horses, caravans and carts parked in the fishmarket.
In the background you can see Quay Lane, the first part of which is made up of four single bay two storey houses with dormer windows,which were originally all part of one building.. They at one time were occupied by Michael Hernon, Paddy Kelly, Josie O'Toole and the Golden family. The next building on the right was the shell of an early 17th century house, which was originally fortified. Behind it and the house next door were hood moulds and machiolations. It was at one time occupied by the Curley family and was known locally as 'Curley's Halls'. It was later converted into 'The Castle Motor Works', a garage run by Tommy Rabbitte and his wife Peggy. Some years ago it was demolished and rebuilt as a pub called 'Bazaar'.
The house next door was Johnny Allen's. It is now known as 'Cobwebs'. The last building on the right was Kililea's Pub, later to become The Arch Tack Rooms.
The two houses standing on their own, on the west of Quay Lane were probably one originally. From the disposition of the fenestration, they probably date from the 17th century. At the beginning of the last century, they were occupied by Julia Murphy who had a sweet shop, and Johnny Joyce who sold 'Aran Brames' or salty fish.
Notice the rough surface of the Fishmarket, and the grass in the foreground. At one time there was a row of small trees and shrubs along here. To the left of where the photographer stood, there were steps down to the water level. At one time, local women used to wash their clothes there, and while the river must have been great for rinsing, the wet clothes must have been very heavy to carry home.
This photograph is from the archive of Failte Ireland, or Bord Failte as it was known. It is one of the images in an exhibition currently hanging in The National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar in Dublin. This exhibition is still running, and if you are in that general area, we can highly recommend a visit.
On Monday next, The Galway Archeological and Historical Society will host a talk as part of their IIB bank lecture series. It will take place in the Harbour Hotel at 8pm and will be given by Professor Noel Wilkins. The title is "Alexander Nimmo, a Life", and the subject is fascinating, a Scottish engineer who helped design many of our roads, piers and bridges in the West of Ireland, in the early part of the 19th century.. There is no charge and all are welcome.
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