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Attacker Rutledge injury casualty for battle with Rebels

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 16-Aug-2012

 CORNER forward Tara Rutledge has been ruled out of Galway’s hugely anticipated All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final against Cork at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny on Saturday (2.15pm).

Hampered by a recent knee injury, Rutledge failed a fitness test this week and this has cleared the way for the experienced and former All Star Veronica Curtin to return to the Galway attack.

Aside from Rutledge, manager Tony Ward confirmed that there are no other injury problems to report as Galway aim to record a third consecutive victory at the penultimate stage of the championship.

Indeed, the last semi-final meeting between the two counties back in 2010 proved an absolutely cracking affair with two second-half goals earning Galway a reprieve, before they eventually scraped through the replay by the narrowest of margins.

That result ended Cork’s bid to reach a ninth consecutive All-Ireland final and they haven’t returned to GAA headquarters since.

In any event, an indifferent league campaign from the Tribeswomen suggested another barren summer lay in store, but the manner of the superb 13 point win over Wexford last month has not only heightened expectations ahead of this crucial fixture, but led many to believe that Galway’s time as perennial bridesmaids is nearing an end.

Reaching the last four would represent a satisfactory campaign for most inter-county camogie sides, but for Galway manager Tony Ward and his Cork counterpart Paudie Murray, a place in September’s final is the very least of their targets.

Cork, despite winning five All Ireland titles since 2002, have failed to progress beyond the semis in the last two years, a surprising scenario given the strength-in-depth of their squad. That said, there appears to be a renewed vigour surrounding the Rebelettes this year and their league final triumph over Wexford is testament of this.

From a Galway perspective, the big question is whether or not they can replicate their remarkable high-octane performance against Wexford, when the All Ireland champions were humbled by a driven and, in some instances, possessed Galway outfit. A stunned atmosphere hung over Kenny Park, Athenry as the home side headed for dressing room with a 3-9 to 0-4 interval lead.

An attack which struggled to find their rhythm in Galway’s two prior championship outings, incredibly, had racked up 3-5 by the 20th minute with Orla Kilkenny, Aislinn Connolly and Martina Conroy thriving amid a supposedly impenetrable Wexford rearguard.

The visitors’ forward division, laden with talent and ability, was rendered ineffective, managing just four points from play over the hour and, to this end, credit must be afforded to the phenomenal work-rate of Lorraine Ryan, Therese Maher and Regina Glynn.

Safe in the knowledge that Wexford were far from their best on that occasion, players and management alike were cautious not to get carried away by the win. Crucially though, it was a victory which ensured a five week lay-off for the Westerners as they advanced to the semis without having to negotiate a potentially treacherous quarter-final clash.

Speaking to Tribune Sport, manager Tony Ward was not concerned with his side’s lengthy lay-off in championship action, a period which allowed both management and players take stock.

“We had played four championship games on the trot so it was good to get the break. Players returned to the clubs and played a couple of games. Overall, preparations have gone very well and the mood in the camp is excellent”.

For more of this preview see this week’s Tribune

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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