TRAVEL with pat and lew

it ‘could be true’ in Galway

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 12, 2007

                      

We were in Galway twice, each time for a few hours, on our way to Westport, and again on the way back. Time enough to have a delightful experience in the Galway Tourist Office.

We found Tourist Offices in Ireland to be extraordinary, with intelligent, helpful people consistently going the extra distance to be helpful. This is always the case, you say? Go to Budapest and learn differently, from people who haven’t yet got the message about how to help tourists.

The young man in the Galway Tourist Office was the best of the best. We asked a few questions, and then he asked if we had time to hear his 10 minute presentation. We had the time, but he was so enthusiastic, we could not have refused even if we were in a hurry. He gave us an over view of central Galway, and then told two stories …

… There’s a clock tower on Eire Square (renamed Kennedy Square after JFK’s visit in 1963 but still called Eire Square on all the signs), erected by the British centuries ago. There are clocks on two sides, facing the new sections of town where all the Brits lived. The other two sides, facing the older, poorer sections of town to which the local Irish had been relegated, have no clocks. From whence comes the expression, “the Brits won’t even give us the time of day.”

… There used to be a Mayor in Galway named Lynch. He had a son, whose girl friend dallied with a stranger. The son killed the stranger. Now, the penalty for such killing was hanging, but since it was the mayor’s son, none of the townspeople would carry out the punishment. So the mayor marched his son to the public square and saw him hanged, amidst a large group, some urging him to carry on, others not. For ever more, such a group was known as a “Lynch mob.”

Are these stories true?

Well, as the Irish say, they “could be true.”

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