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An Spidéal juniors edge out Oileáin Árainn again



Date Published: 17-Sep-2009

OILEÁIN Árainn will start to get a complex if the hard luck stories continue. The islanders must be scratching their heads this week wondering what in the world do they have to do to beat bitter Gaeltacht rivals An Spidéal. For the second year running, Árann were beaten by An Spidéal in a thrilling West Board Junior A final … and once again it was a hard luck story of sorts.
Last year’s final was marred by violence, which sparked off when Árann had an injury time free that landed just short in the square and then somehow found its way into the net, but only after the final whistle had sounded.
Had the goal been allowed, Árann would have won by a point and there were parallels again on Sunday afternoon when Árann had a late chance – this time to level the match – deep in injury time but they failed to grasp it allowing An Spideál to be crowned West Board Champions for the second year on the trot and advance to the County Final against Headford.
In fairness An Spideál, on the overall balance of play, probably deserved to retain their title and were full value for their win but there would have been few arguments among the big crowd at Pearse Stadium had Árann centre-forward Eoghan Póil punished a sloppy mistake by his marker, Micheál Ó Curraoin, to convert a point with the last kick of the encounter.
We would have relished a re-match. Agonisingly for Ó Curraoin, the last ditch effort dropped short into An Spidéal ‘keepers Pádraig Ó Maolallaigh’s reliable hands. The game was up and the Árann lads – gutted – were left wondering what might have been.
Oh, they’ll have regrets all right. This decider, for the second year on the trot, turned on Árann’s concession of a sloppy goal. Having battled to a 0-7 to 0-6 lead at the break, An Spideál, scored the most opportunistic three-pointer just seconds after play resumed. Full-forward Tomás Ó Flatharta gained possession out around the ’40, close to the stand, and was weighing up his options when there seemed little or no threat.
But Ó Flatharta then took a speculative hit-in-hope punt at the posts, which seemed to hover in the air for an age, and seemed destined to drop short into the hands of whoever won the battle between defender and attacker on the edge of the square.
And that’s when a rush of blood to Aonghus Ó hAlmháin’s head, compelled the Árann keeper to come off his line without conviction and the ball bounced off one of the trio into his unguarded net for what looked like an own goal although Ó Flatharta will surely claim the credit.
It all happened so quickly, yet you could see it coming. Ó hAlmháin knows he should have gone more forcefully – taken man and ball – to clear the danger but in his defence, the glare of the searing Salthill sun didn’t help his task. From there on in you sensed An Spidéal weren’t going to let it slip and despite a rousing Árann fight-back, An Spidéal held their nerve to emerge with the spoils.

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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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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