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All hands on deck at Galway Bay Sailing Club for race arrival



Date Published: 20-Jun-2012

More than 8,000 people will be given an opportunity to experience the exhilaration of learning to sail during the spectacular finale of the Volvo Ocean Race on Galway Bay next month, thanks to an initiative by Galway Bay Sailing Club and the Irish Sailing Association.


As part of a nine day seafaring festival built around the race finale, sailing clubs want to get a record breaking number of people onto the water between June 30 and July 8.

The arrival of the Volvo fleet will put the city at the centre of a global media spotlight, the briefing was told, but for many local sailors the highlight of the festival will be an opportunity to take part in one or other of the highly competitive sailing regattas on Galway Bay or to have a go on one of the high speed Volvo tri sailboats.

More than 40 separate on-water events, which will take place on Galway Bay during the course of the Volvo festival, include the Irish Multihull National Championships which has attracted an entry of over 40 boats. These high speed craft will be seen off Salthill on Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1.

The club is also hosting GB12 cruiser racing series and 50 yachts are lining up for this three-day event, attracting boats from Westport, Limerick, Clifden, Sligo, Galway and the UK. Galway is also taking a leading role in the dramatic round Rockall Race, which startsthis coming Sunday.

One of the biggest gathering of boats ever to happen will take place on Sunday July 1 at Galway Docks and will be organised by GBSC member and ISA director Pierce Purcell, who is expecting up to 200 boats to take part in the colourful parade of sail. Weather permitting, the fleet will meet at Salthill and join a junior parade of sail off Mutton Island.

Organisers are calling on all water users to join this parade of sail including yachts, sailing dinghies, traditional boats, power boats, ribs, fishing boats, scout groups windsurfers and canoes. A reviewing vessel will anchor off the channel to the Docks and a band will welcome the armada into the marina to add to the shore festival just a day before the Volvo 70s arrive.

Another one of the highlights will be the Irish Disabled Sailing Association regatta, and more than 100 sailors who have physical disabilities have already applied for the accessible sailing series. This joint event is designed to encourage people with disabilities to take to the water. During the week they will be offered advice and assistance by many of the Volvo ocean sailors.

GBSC are also running a schools team-racing event. John Killeen, President of Let’s Do it Global said he was delighted with the enthusiasm of the sailing clubs and of the 2,000 volunteers from all over Ireland who will assist in running the biggest sailing event of the year.

The Mayor of Galway Hildegarde Naughton said this event “was huge for not only Galway, but all of Ireland” and would attract massive media coverage as well as visitors to Galway.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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