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Tuam - Galway - Market Cross

celtic cross

The history of Tuam as a settlement dates from the early 6th century. Legend states that a monk called Jarlath, who was a member of a religious community at Cloonfush some four miles west of Tuam and adjacent to the religious settlement at Kilbannon.




Jarlath's life became uncertain as he wished to travel. Eventually, Jarlath's abbot St. Benignus of Kilbannon told him to 'Go, and where ever your chariot wheel breaks, there shall be the site of your new monastery and the place of your resurrection'. Jarlath's wheel broke at Tuam and he established a monastery there. As was typical with early settlements in Ireland, religious sites became established first and towns grew around them. Likewise, Tuam grew up around the monastery as a town and kept the broken chariot wheel as its heraldic symbol.

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Photo Details

  • County: Galway
  • Town: Tuam
  • Scene: Market Cross
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black& white if preferred.
  • Read about Tuam below

 

Tuam

Tuam (Irish: Tuaim) is a small town in County Galway in the Republic of Ireland. The name is pronounced choom. It is situated west of the midlands of Ireland, and north of Galway city.

History

The record of human settlement in Tuam dates back to the Bronze Age when the area was used as a burial ground and the name Tuam comes from the Latin term tumulus (burial mound). In the 19th century, a Bronze Age burial urn was discovered in the area. An early glass photograph of it, which would be used in what was described as 'The Magic Lantern,' an early form of a slide projector, is still in existence.

The history of Tuam as a settlement dates from the early 6th century. Legend states that a monk called Jarlath, who was a member of a religious community at Cloonfush some four miles west of Tuam and adjacent to the religious settlement at Kilbannon.

Jarlath's life became uncertain as he wished to travel. Eventually, Jarlath's abbot St. Benignus of Kilbannon told him to 'Go, and where ever your chariot wheel breaks, there shall be the site of your new monastery and the place of your resurrection'. Jarlath's wheel broke at Tuam and he established a monastery there. As was typical with early settlements in Ireland, religious sites became established first and towns grew around them. Likewise, Tuam grew up around the monastery as a town and kept the broken chariot wheel as its heraldic symbol.

In the mid 11th century, Tuam grew in prominence when the O'Connor Kings of East Connacht established their headquarters in the town. Eventually, the O'Connors defeated the O'Flaherty chieftains of West Connacht and became Kings of all Connacht.

In 1111, Turlough O'Connor became High King of Ireland by force of arms and this brought Tuam its most prominent status as the centre of the seat of power in the 12th century. Turlough O'Connor, High King of Ireland from 1111-1156, was a great patron of the Irish Church and it was due to his patronage that Tuam became the home of some masterpieces of 12th century Celtic art.

Following the destruction of the first Cathedral in 1184, Rory O'Connor left Tuam and retired to the abbey at Cong where he entrusted the Church valuables from the Cathedral at Tuam into the care of the abbot. This left Tuam as a small, unimportant backwater and it wasn't until the early 17th century that it began to grow in importance again.

In July 1920, the town hall and other properties were burned down by armed Royal Irish Constabulary men, after two had been killed in an ambush by therepublicans near the town the day before.

In 2003, Tuam councillor Martin Ward became Ireland's first Irish Traveller mayor.

Transport

Tuam is served by the N17 road (Galway to Sligo) and the N83 road (to Ballyhaunis) as well as R332 and R347.

The town is located on the now disused railway line from Limerick to Sligo. There is a campaign (West-on-track) to have the line reopened as a Western Railway Corridor.A bypass is also planned.

Education

Tuam is the location of several educational institutions, including St. Patrick's College (formerly the Christian Brothers School) and St. Jarlath's College, although an amalgamation between these two schools is now planned.

Religion

Tuam has two cathedrals; St. Mary's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) and the Cathedral of the Assumption (Roman Catholic), seat of the Archdiocese of Tuam.

Sport

The town has a strong Gaelic Athletic Association tradition: St. Jarlath's College Tuam has won the Hogan Cup (National Championship for secondary schools) a record 12 times since the Games began in 1946. Tuam Stars, the local Gaelic Football team, are one of Galways best Football teams in history. From the period 1953-1960, Tuam Stars were the dominant force in the Galway County Championship winning 7 titles in a row, with players such as Seán Purcell and Frank Stockwell playing at the time. There are also two local soccer teams. Dynamo Blues, founded in 1978 and Tuam Celtic, founded in 1974.

Tuam people

  • The Saw Doctors. The N17 road does in fact pass through the town, as their famous song 'N17' suggests.
  • Richard W. 'Dick' Dowling
  • Robert Malachy Burke
  • John MacHale
  • Seán Purcell
  • Tom Murphy (playwright)
  • Johnny Rotten
  • Finian McGrath
  • Paddy McHugh
  • Blaze X

Twinning

The following places are twinned with Tuam:

  • Straubing, Germany

Trivia

  • The people of Tuam claim it is the smallest city in the world based on the presence of a cathedral, one of the original definitions of what constitutes a city. However, despite Tuam's two cathedrals, it is officially a town. Moreover, the city of St. David's in Wales has a smaller population and is officially a city.