The Garngad by Neve and Collette

We picked Garngad (Royston) for our topic. We chose this topic because we were interested in the area and why Theresa Breslin decided to put this district in her book, ‘Divided City.’

The Garngad wasn’t ever a peaceful place. Even the name ‘Garn’ means ‘rough ground’ (Gaelic). Once a year the Hibernian Walk would take place. They would leave the Garngad and weave through streets until they entered Protestant areas, before ending up circling around their own area again. It was rumoured there would be a battle every year. They would be armed with blades and hammers. Kids from the local secondary school, St. Roch’s, would have fights with local Protestant schools and some of these school kid fights ended in death.

In 1942, a campaign was led by Mr. McGrath so he could rename Garngad to Roystonhill. In 1933, there was a slum clearance and rebuilding project that took place. Recently, cars from the M8 motorway were greeted with a gable-end sign of: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING FREE GARNGAD.

Railway Bridge over the M80 Motorway by G Laird [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Railway Bridge over the M80 Motorway by G Laird [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

On November 16th, 1951 a murder happened in the Hibernian hall. The suspect of this crime was 20 year old labourer, James Smith. A murder trial was held at the high court, Glasgow on February 26, 1952. Smith denied the accusations that he was Malone’s murderer but was later convicted. Smith was sentenced to death and there was no reprieve. He was hanged at Barlinnie Prison on April 12, 1952.

In 1953 Mick McLaughlin wrote a poem called ‘Farewell to Garngad‘.

“Oh father dear and did you hear new houses they have built.
Some of them in Easterhouse and some in Castlemilk.
Balornock and Barmulloch too, they’re building them like mad and now they’re taking our friends away from the dear old Garngad.”

In conclusion, The Garngad was a rough place in the 1900’s. It has since improved and it has now become a considerably safer place.

Sources –
Glasgow Story, http://www.theglasgowstory.com/story/?id=TGSFG09, Accessed 30/11/15
Daily Record, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/glasgow-torn-apart-by-knife-fight-death-960799, Accessed 30/11/15
Royston Road Project, http://www.roystonroadproject.org/archive/history/garngad_royston.htm, Accessed 30/11/15

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