Posted by Royal on September 23, 2005 at 12:22:06:
Whilst going through old editions of the Mayo News, dated 1926, I came across an article by "an old Castlebar man" in which he recounts tales of his youth in Castlebar:
1)He tells the story of how the famous Louis Brennan,inventor of the monorail,torpedo etc, reassured the townsfolk when gas was being introduced into Castlebar.There was widespread fear amongst the people that the gas would blow up the Town.
Louis,then a teenager set up an experiment and experimented on a pipe and showed to everyones satisfaction how easily gas was made and how useful it could be.
2)He also tells the tale of one William Walsh from Castlebar and how he changed the custom of the Archbishop of Tuam and the Parish Priests of Mayo,selecting the two candidates for the County.This had gone on for over forty years but William Walsh,a Nationalist had enough and marched to the Hotel (possibly the Imperial Hotel)and demanded to be admitted.He was refused as no layman was ever permitted to take part.He kicked up such a fuss that from then on,selection was made by both the priests and people directly.
William Walsh was also very outspoken and caused a sensation when he berated on his doorstep, Lord Lucan and his son Lord Bingham who had called canvessing for votes for the upcomming election.In front of everyone,he shouted at them that he would never vote for a Bingham,until the houses in Staball Hill and elsewhere were restored and rebuilt.
This was at atime when Lord Lucan "owned" the Town.
William Walsh was a member of the Poor Law Board and very popular to the Townpeople.He also had two sons priests in the Archdiocese and a momument is erected in Athenry courtyard to the memory of one of his sons whom died of smallpox.
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