P R O F I L E
In spite of local opinion being vociferous about the cannons, with them Galway honours the Connaught Rangers, many of whose members came from the west of Ireland. Galway has a number of associations with the regiment, not least Renmore Barracks, which was the regimental headquarters. There are also banners in St Nicholas' Collegiate Church and, most obviously, the pair of cannon usually resting in Eyre Square, which the Connaught Rangers brought home from the Crimea.
Presented to the town commissioners on August 3, 1857, the guns were originally placed either side of the entrance to the Railway Hotel, formerly the Great Southern and now Meyrick Hotel, The guns were removed to a barracks in Athlone in 1866 in case they were used against the British. They were returned to the top of the park in Eyre Square two years later, where they remained until 2004. Situated at the top of Eyre Square, beside the Browne Doorway, the two large, cast-iron cannons made an impressive spectacle and had been there for longer than many of the other memorials in the square. The cannons were received in honour of the Connaught Rangers, an Irish Regiment in the British Army, after the Crimean War of 1854-1856. The Rangers had played a major part in the Alma Valley Battles in 1854. They were presented in recognition of the Rangers' military achievements during the Crimean war, and have been a source of pride and controversy to Galwegians for many generations.
A study of recent photographs shows that the guns are not at present in Eyre Square. Where are they? 'Two cannons which have been in the city for over 150 years may be moved to a more prominent position at City Hall on College Road' is speculated by one press report. Another of 2015 suggests Ballybane in the city to overcome local objection to the relics.
pictures: left - when the cannon were first located in Eyre Park and above a later picture in the park. The third picture right may be the present location but we are unable to confirm this.
The Robins database records the two cannon as follows:
19??? - 1824 a 24 pdr.
20346 - 1826 a 36 pdr.
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THE GROTTO GRADING FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location