In ancient times, Galway was known as Streamstown because the lower Galway River divided into many streams, thus creating a system of islands. The area was known as “Tír Oileáin” , the land of islands. Two place names survive from that period, Tirellan and Terryland.
This photograph of the Crescent which was originally known as Palmyra Crescent was taken c.1940. Palmyra in Syria is very much in the news these days, but I cannot think of any reason why someone would name a road in Galway after it.
An elderly lady once told me that “Apart from the Irish language, we have nothing more Irish in this country than the game of hurling”. I agree. It is the greatest game of them all. It is probably the number one game in the county, attendances at senior County finals being a very good criterion – the hurling final has always been the bigger attraction than the football counterpart, ‘even in the balmy days of our football three-in-a-row’ according to Jack Mahon.
Peter Greene was born in Galway City in 1895, the youngest child of Colman Greene from Carna and Julia McGrath from Newcastle. He was educated in the ‘Pres’ and the ‘Mon’, where his teacher Brother Ambrose was a major influence; “Boys, I hope none of you will ever wear the red coat”.
“Catholic cathedrals in Ireland are monuments to our imitative instincts and conservative distrust of artistic originality. There are examples of new church architecture but in general, church authorities remained faithful to the Middle Ages and refused to abandon medieval architecture. It is therefore understandable that in 1949 when the building of Galway cathedral was commissioned, it should have been conceived in a hybrid Romanesque style. In 1959, the foundation stone was laid and on August 15th, 1965, the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas was dedicated by Cardinal Cushing. In December that year the Vatican Council solemnly ended, its revolutionary document The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy which rendered the shape, style, arrangement and setting of such buildings obsolete and anachronistic. This building was almost an object lesson in insularity. It is clear from the late Bishop of Galway’s instructions that for him art can be no more than decoration, an illustration of scripture or a clearly formulated theology. Art is never an original source, a spiritual revelation, a doing of theology”.
Tom Hynes was born in Moycullen in 1879. He had a hugely successful athletics career. He distinguished himself by winning the first ever professional marathon run in Ireland, in Jones’ Road in 1909, and he retained the title the following year. He won major events in Boston and New York. He travelled regularly to Dublin to compete and about 1912/13, Tom Kenny from Craughwell introduced him to some men who turned out to be IRB men. They regularly gave him Sinn Féin pamphlets to distribute in Galway which he did. This brought him into contact with the Volunteers and George Nicholls and Seamus Carter.
Coláiste Éinde was one of the institutions founded by the State shortly after attaining freedom. It initially suffered from ‘growing pains’. It started on October 23rd 1928 in Furbo House, later moved to Dublin before eventually finding its home in Threadneedle Road. The building was constructed by Stewarts to house St. Louis nuns attending UCG and also for a girls organisation.