This week's Old Galway Column is dedicated to the annual Crossword Quiz, set by Dick Byrne, and picture quiz posed by Tom Kenny. Appears here just for fun, as the competition is closed and long since won.
Look out for it next year!
George Nicholls was a young solicitor who worked in G.C. Conroy’s office in Francis Street. In 1912, he set up a pipe band known as “Cumann Píobairí na Gaillimhe”, the only band with an Irish language name to play at O’Donovan Roass’s funeral to which they travelled in the company of Padraic Pearse. Our photograph was taken that year. Nicholls was the nerve centre for the IRB in Galway. He later became the town coroner.
An old Galwegian gave us this photograph of Upper Abbey Gate Street as seen from the corner of Market Street . In the late 1940’s the building we see down at the end on the corner of Mary Street was Tommy Hopkins, victuallers. Opposite that, at the time, at the end of Abbeygate St. was Mrs. Kemples house. Next door was Paul Heaney’s butcher shop ; Moloneys sweet shop ; Barretts, Mrs. Barrett had a cake making business ; The Shapiros lived next door and beside their house was an archway that led in to the back of the house ; Ellie Carter and her brother were next ; then Miko Cunningham’s sweet shop where he sold groceries as well.
This photograph was taken about the year 1900 and shows part of the market at the corner of Woodquay and Eyre Street. The derelict gable we see in the background was later developed as Creaven’s boot shop. It was subsequently occupied by O’Connor TV, then became a florists run by Brian O’Malley and today is Richard Hughes’ opticians.
St. Ignatius College on Sea Road opened its doors for the first time in 1862. The Jesuits built a residence and a church at the same time and the move proved to be a success for them.Attendances at Mass and ceremonies grew rapidly. The college however was more of a challenge.
The Athy family are of great antiquity in Galway. They were originally Anglo-Norman but on coming here, they quickly became one of the original Tribes. Their estates were mainly in the Oranmore area, they owned the Rinville Estate. They are credited with being the first family to erect a stone building in the city in the thirteenth century. Castles associated with the family through the years are Ballylee, Carrigín, Glinsk, Castletown, Rinville, Claregalway, Ardmullivan, De Bermingham’s, Aughanure and Castledaly.
In the 1600’s trade tokens were given out by the Crown and were used as a royal license to do business. If you were a trades or business merchant, you had to obtain this token. Some had dates on them and some had not. In Galway city and county there were 43 merchants listed in the period 1653-1679. By 1680, many of these tokens were replaced by the halfpenny copper coin.
If you think Saint Patrick’s Brass band seems to have been around forever, you are almost right. It was founded 119 years ago in 1896, in Forster Street by Peter Rabbitte, Michael Spelman, and Paddy Walsh. It was originally a fife and drum band known as St Patrick’s Fife and Drum Band Society.