In my last Podcast, I expressed the opinion that it is strange how things happen. This was again underlined for me as I prepared the new edition of my maritime programme which you can listen to below.
Galway Port Company has an ambitious €120m. plan for the future. It is going through the planning process at present, which has delayed it with various checks and examinations of what is proposed.
But the port company is determined to push the process forward and to achieve its goal in creating a modern port with the best of facilities on the Western coastline.
Galway is ideally placed to be a TransAtlantic port, so it has been said many times, but why has this not happened?
Is it possible that, as the business and economic leaders of the city tried to establish a TransAtlantic shipping line, their efforts were deliberately sabotaged by non-Irish ports which did not want Galway to command this trade?
Was the first ship chartered to run such a service, which had been given permission to carry what was then a valuable mail service in financial terms for the shipping service, deliberately sabotaged?
How could it strike the only rock in Galway Bay as it sailed in for the start of the service, leading to huge controversy and damaging the western port’s future?
The story, still an unsolved mystery, is told on THIS ISLAND NATION by author, journalist and Galwayman, Ray Burke. It is a fascinating story, well worth listening to and reading about. He links it into Ulysses, Nora Barnacle and James Joyce in his book ‘Joyce County – Galway and James Joyce’.
Click below to hear the story of how the voyage of the Indian Empire, intended to start Galway’s first TransAtlantic service, suffered a bad start in Galway Bay.