A Day Out

This story begins at a committee meeting on an evening in February 1933 been held in the Mechanics Institute. With Corinthians been in existence for one season they decided to travel too Dublin for the Ireland v Scotland Fixture. They arranged a fixture with Dublin University College 2nd is of 16 shillings a head was too expensive it was decided to travel with the Galway Omnibus Company of which its manager  Mr Sparrow been a member of Corinthian allowed a better rate of 12 shillings and 6 pence.

Weather forecasting at the time was more than erratic and uninspired guesswork, as the team which was captained by Jack Browne and alickadoos assembled at Eyre Square for the trip the instincts and a cloud laden sky was enough to warn them that the journey would not be the most comfortable they ever had. This Corinthian team were a youthful side mostly made up of ex Bish players and a few Jes thrown in for good measure nothing daunted as one would say as they took off for Dublin.

A light fall of snow driven by an east wind greeted them at Oranmore but things got worse. A blizzard of growing intensity developed and within a half mile of New Inn the Omnibus had slowed to a crawl and became embedded in a four foot snow drift. They vacated the bus and made their way to a premises which happened to the Garda Station it was about noon at this stage. The Guards made them welcome and gave the visitors the full use of the day-room. The day slipped by with no let up of the blizzard but they the travellers comfortable with a roaring fire. They learned later in the day that a bread van was marooned like themselves which was quartered a few hundred yards further on. So happily there was a plentiful supply of confectionery on board which was commandeered by the ravenous Corinthian outfit which had disappeared entirely by tea-time. The night passed by with spinning of yarns, card playing, etc. The most vivid recollection made by Brian O Connell the clubs first secretary is the “Griff” ie Paddy Griffin holding court in front of the open fire laying down the law and threatening fire and brimstone on the next …. how’ your father etc etc ..who left the door of the day room open behind them when they went out to relieve themselves.

The unfortunate Barracks housekeeper kept brewing tea until a very late hour and finally as they say dawn broke.The bedraggled group decided that their best course of action was to head for Woodlawn Railway Station and hope for a train going east or west. On their way they retrieved some of their luggage after climbing into the back of the Omnibus.

The snow was thick and walking conditions were almost impossible but the members of the team were attired in their rugby boots and socks which formed a slight form of protection. The allicadoos were worse off and had to walk on top of the roadside wall. They reached Woodlawn Station in two hours a distance of five miles only to find there was no chance of getting a train. The snow was two foot high on the railway line. On route to the station they enquired at a house(Mrs Rafterys as was learned later)whither there was any place where they might get a meal for over twenty persons this was about eleven am. Mrs Raftery said no but invited them in and preceded to feed the whole Corinthian flotilla in relays with beacon and eggs. Misses Raftery was ably assisted by two or three of her children and a maid. After the meal and all the thank you’s the group headed for the station again.

They then decided to walk the permanent way all that distance of twelve miles to Lathery Station hoping to catch a train into Galway. This they achieved walking in two feet of snow in football boots etc. They sang all the way to Athenry with that man again “The Griff” leading the way. His favourite was “To the table down in Maurys” it got many a rendering down the years. Other songs to be heard sung by the miles men working on the permanent way was the “West Awake” and” Corinthians are we” There were many tales told of that famous journey one of which was of the treasurer “Bubbles O Flaherty” sliding down the embankment and been covered by snow with the only item be seen was his hand protruding from same holding on to the money bag for dear life. They achieved the trek to Athenry in two and a half hours where they got a great welcome.

They caught the four thirty train to Galway a damp and weary bunch, but there greatest welcome was at Galway Railway Station as news of their trek had spread to their wives and girlfriends.

Some weeks later a group headed to Woodlawn consisting of Mr G H Warner(President),Miko Gallagher, Jack Browne and of course Paddy Griffin where a presentation was made of a Silver Plate and coffee/tea set for her kindness and hospitality which was suitably inscribed. The rest of the personnel on that journey were M Browne,J Deacy,M Deacy,G Mahony,T Mullins,W Toner,H Flatery,D O Donovan,J Reid,G Glynn,”Brod” O Halloran and first secretary of the club Brian O Connell who was the main supplier of the tale, Brod was also a contributor and further info was gained from The Connacht Tribune Archive.

 

“TO THE TABLE DOWN AT MAURYS”

To the tables down at Maurys. To the place where Lowey dwells .To the dear old Temple bar we love so well. Sing the whippen poofs assembled with their glasses raised on high and the magic of their singing casts a spell. Oh the magic of their singing and the songs we love so well. Singing “wasting” and “movourneen” and the rest we will serenade Mr Lowey while life and life shall last.Then we’ll pass and be forgotten like the rest. We are poor little lambs who have lost our way. BAA,BAA,BAA, We are little black sheep who have gone astray,BAA,BAA,BAA,Gentlemen songsters out on a spree. Doomed from here to eternity, Lord have mercy as such as we.BAA,BAA,BAA,

Words of song supplied by Michael Hackett.