Galway Advertiser 1980/1980_09_18/GA_18091980_E1_004.pdf 

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Galway Advertiser 1980/1980_09_18/GA_18091980_E1_004.pdf

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Many of the early paint ings, drawings and engrav ings of different parts of Ireland have been so romanticised that often they do not properly represent the subject matter very accurately. These illus trations are sometimes the product of bad memory and a fertile imagination.


This is a case in point. It is probably the earliest illustration ever done of Galway Station--it is from a guide to the Midland and Great Western Railway which was published in 1855. The general idea is fine, the shape and facade of the station itself, the military bypass, the direc tion of the tracks; but what are those strange oriental looking spires? What are the buildings just past the station? Where is the Great Southern Hotel; and what about the water coming right up to the station?

There are several other Galway illustrations in the book which are pure imagination. It is a pity because the book is the earliest which contains a great deal of information on the railways in the West, and one which you would expect to be accurate. The signature "Mahony" on the bottom left is that of the artist, that of "C. M. Sheep as" on the bottom right is the engraver. The station and the Railway Hotel were built and opened at the same time 1851/52. The station in

particular opened up the West of Ireland to many different kinds of trade, commerce and tourism. It had connections via Bianconi Coach with many parts of the West and so radically changed the com munication system here. It opened up markets in Dublin and abroad for Galway produce. The roof of the station was an important one from an engineering point of view, it was designed and built by Richard Turner from Dublin. It had an 80 foot span and wrought iron ribs,

tie bars and struts. The centre section was glazed with heavy plate glass and the sides were of corrugated iron. Corrugated was at that time a very recent invention so it is a very early use of it in the West. We have a request from England from a student doing a thesis on Richard Turner, so if you have any information on him, or illustrations of the station roof (which was removed in the 1950's) he would be delighted for the loan of it. And finally, this week, we have had a request from a

Professor John Gordon in New York who is doing some research on James Joyce. He has been told that an elderly lady in Galway named "Mulvagh" may be able to help him. Does that ring any bells? We would be most interested in any information we can gather on James Joyce in Galway, or on his wife, Nora Barnacle from Bowling Green. T.K.

Another milestone in R.T.E. Current Affairs broadcasting ended on Tuesday night last week when the final edition of Frontline was screened. The programme has been the main domestic current affairs programme on RTE 1, evolving from the Politics Programme (Oliver Maloncy's brainchild from the old single channel RTE days) seen in turn as the rather timid replacement for Seven Days which had blazed along in controversy into the mid-1970s. Some people, like presenter Brian Farrell, have survived the various shake-ups, and it is perhaps indicative of Brian's stamina as a television commentator (he is also an author and Lecturer in Political Science) that he has'been charged with the general editorship of some of the last of the Frontline series as it faded into broadcasting history. It is probable that he will survive and continue to chair television debates into whatever lies ahead. So also will veteran Proinsias Mac Aonghusa, who first made his name in television as an Irish language broadcaster, and may be anxious to return to that role if given certain guarantees about the quality of whatever is done about a resurrection of a Feach-tike series to full vigour.

ahead will see a lull in RTE Current Affairs activity as preparations are made for a new series, edited by Joe Mulholland, who recently featured in the Irish/ French co-production L'Ireland C'Est Nous. RTE are pinning quite a lot on the new series which will be transmitted at 10 p.m., starting Monday, 6 October and continuing for four nights--Monday to Thurs day--each week. Inaddition it is expected to have an Irish language current affairs show on Monday and Friday nights. With that much time to fill on a regular basis Joe Mulhol land is busy already putting together his teams for the first real outsome of the Paddy Moriarity "re-organ isation" in the political and current affairs area. A M E A S U R E OF LANGUAGE Irish Press Irish-language Editor Sean O hEalai had a scoop of considerable his torical importance recently when he published, for the first time the contents of "Confidential Circular No. 10/48" in which the then Secretary of the Depart ment of Finance, J. J. McElligott, set out, on 3 Meitheamh, 1948, the views of the then Minister, Mr. Patrick McGilligan on the vexed question of official forms in Irish and English and bilingual printing and POLITICAL AFFAIRS advertising. The central The weeks immediately point of the circular was that

in order to save expense, bilingual forms were to be discontinued and bilingual printing reduced to a minimum. Notices were to be issued in one language only, "being the language which the Department considers most suitable to meet the requirements of the case," and even where a clear need for bilingual publication was seen to exist "separate issues should, where practicable, be ar ranged for, care being taken to ensure that requirements in each language are as accurately measured as possible." REALITY OF DREAM The dampening effect of such an official policy on the positive encouragement of a bilingual public service is obvious. And while Mr. Haughey suggested in his Ardfheis speech that he would like to see the question of Irish "removed from the narrow confines of political debate and have it fostered and supported by all," do not be surprised if this memo from the budgetslashing days of the first Coalition Government will be resurrected along with the decision to "sell off the planes in Shannon," when the next election comes around! Of course, in his first address to the Ardfheis as Taoiseach, Mr. Haughey also said "Fianna Fail has a whole-hearted commitment to the Irish language and to its preservation as a vital part of of our community life. We fully accept the principle that anyone who wishes to conduct his or her business through Irish with the State, its agencies and institutions, and with local authorities, should have a clear right to do so, and should be facilitated in exercising that right." The reality of that dream, as has been demonstrated on more than one occasion, is

another matter. And while Democrat and Mayoman shortcomings in this regard Paul O'Dwyer to desert the in the Public Services are Carter camp could be put down to a lack of a clear- ' significant, in a big state cut consistent and realistic which the President almost policy over the years, it has to win to stay in the race. hardly gives hope to see Mr. Another life-long Democrat Haughey himself, as with a big influence among "Uachtarain Fianna Fail" the Jews in the United issuing a letter in English States is author Leon Uris only to supporters of the who with his wife, Jill, party National Collection. visited the West of Ireland The circular, containing the again this year, and attend usual "A chara" and other ed the Feile na mBad in trimmings, and signed by Kin vara. When the Uris "Cathal O hEachaidh" no couple went on to Puck Fair less, contained the crucial in Killorglin and Leon was central message in the asked about his support for second official language, Mr. Anderson, he sum even in cases where it was marised his disillusionment sent to party faithful in with President Carter and Gaeltacht areas. his four years of office by suggesting that Jimmy THE ANDERSON might come to Kerry next CHOICE year and be crowned King People who tend to like Puck! "third options" in politics, if only because it prevents EXILE'S RETURN the "them and us" situation The acting Head of the which has caused such trouble in Britian (never Q.U.B. Celtic Department, mind finely-balanced con Dr. Gearoid Stockman, has stituencies in Northern been appointed to the Ireland where the straight Professorship of Celtic in vote has done more to succession to the retiring preserve a rigid sectarian Professor Wagner. The ism in political life than any appointment of Dr. Seamus other single factor) will view O Cathain of the U.C.D. with great interest the Folklore Department to the growing strength of Inde Chair of Celtic in Queens pendent John Anderson in was announced earlier in the the American Presidential year but after O Cathain's wife (a Scandanavian) race. Almost everybody who has moved in behind received threats in the post, Anderson admits that he is he withdrew and for a while not exactly the greatest there was a real fear that statesman of all time, and Mrs. Thatcher's budgetslashing Tory Government most would admit that they might grasp what looked have given him their support because they are fed like an opportunity to wind up with the last four years of up the study of Irish and Jimmy Carter--and fear other Celtic languages in Belfast altogether. It ap what might happen if Ronald Reagan made it to pears however that some Washington. It is the usual body in Stormont warned horrible choice in a con Whitehall of the adverse census democracy--rather publicity which would come like the "choice" which we from any decision to abolish are given all too frequently a faculty so closely associ in television programming. ated with the cultural That "equal choice of content of the "Irish rubbish for all." The dimension," and so the decision of New York Irish language lives to fight

another day not only in Queens but also in Coleraine where another new Professor, Dr. Seamus Mac Mathuna, of U.C.G. has recently been appointed. Like O Cathain, Mac Mathuna is another Gaelic scholar of Northern stock who has been in "exile" in the South for a number of years. A native of Belfast, it seems neither he nor his Scandanavian wife have any reservations about aban doning the tranquility of the West for a new life in Coleraine. Guimid rath De orthu. POL'S CHOICE The appointment of Fine Gael County Councillor Pol 0 Foighil as Chairman of the new National Irish CoOps. Managers' Association hardly came as a surprise in view of the fact that he did much of the work connected with the launching of the association in the first place. While the idea has been publicly welcomed by the 1 COS (the inaugural meet ing was held at ICOS Headquarters in Dublin) Mr. O Foighil has been careful to stress that the new association, while "looking after the interests of Co-Op. Managers" will also place emphasis on the need for ongoing training for managers and the Co operative committee mem bers. Thus while an import ant part of the new associations' brief will be the protection of the employment of co-operative staffs, including managers, it may also try to play a role in "taming" the activities of some politically-motivated Co-Operative committee members.

Compiled by Nollaig O Gadhra

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 Galway Advertiser 1980 / 1980_09_18