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Battling hard for table tennis

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Date Published: 21-Sep-2007

TALKING Sport has met some enthusiasts who have been passionate about their endeavours in its time, but in Terry Dolan the needle may just have gone off the Richter Scale.

An evening spent with former Irish table tennis champion Dolan in the Commercial Boat Club is certainly an interesting experience — as the Galway City native demonstrates every shot that can be played in a highly skilful sport.

One would think it would be easy to continually serve and return a small plastic ball from one end of a table, over the short netting, to the other. Yep, very easy! In any event, if you are having trouble, blame Terry Dolan because he is the guy who makes it look easy.

Those with an affinity to the sport will know of Dolan. Having taking up the sport at the age of seven, by his late teens he was pressing for the top honours in Irish table tennis and he subsequently won his first cap for Ireland in the mid 1970s.

Indeed, in his career, Dolan has played junior, U-21, senior, U-23 and veteran for Ireland, been capped 99 times for Connacht, and at the evergreen age of 47 he is still going strong, having just returned from the Six Nations Championships in Wales.

Naturally, during…..

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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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14-man Galway come to grief against the Dubs in Walsh Cup

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Date Published: 06-Feb-2013

Dublin 2-19

Galway 1-21

Sean Walsh at Parnell Park

DUBLIN hurlers knocked Galway out of the Walsh Cup in Parnell Park on Saturday after this competitive and entertaining semi-final. It may only be early season opener, but this was an interesting tie between two sides who have built up a keen recent rivalry.

After a sluggish start, Galway – despite having to play three quarters of the game with 14 men after Andy Smith was sent off – remained very much in this semi-final and, ultimately, came up just short.

The Tribesmen responded well to actually outscore Dublin by 0-17 to 1-12 in the 52 minutes they played with a numerical disadvantage and, in reality, they could have forced at least extra time. However a late Paul Ryan free got a Dublin team, laced with a host of regulars, into the final and left Galway rueing a narrow defeat.

Lining out without Joe Canning, who picked up a rib injury in the quarter final win over Carlow, Galway started with eight of their All-Ireland Final starting 15, though this number was down five by the end of the game. And while the Galway management will be disappointed to lose to a side who failed to overcome the Tribesmen in three attempts in 2012, they will take satisfaction from certain aspects of the performance.

The character displayed by the Leinster champions during the game, particularly at stages when Dublin threatened to pull away, was commendable as was the displays of a number of players who enhanced their case for future selection. And while definitive judgements in February are difficult, the performances of Niall Healy, who excelled, and Davy Glennon in attack caught the eye.

Jonathon Glynn, who won a lot of ball, had a hand in a number of scores and generally built on his championship appearances last year in an attack that started with just one player (Damien Hayes) from the starting team last September.

Aidan Harte impressed when moved to midfield, while the deployment of David Collins to centre back and Iarla Tannian to wing back hinted at future possibilities. Debutant Paul Killeen’s 37 minutes at corner back augured well as did Padraig Brehony’s cameo in midfield.

Dublin began the game with greater movement and hunger and they were worth their 1-4 to 0-2 lead on six minutes with Paul Ryan getting the goal. Centre forward John McCaffrey had shot three points by the 14th minute by which stage they led by 1-7 to 1-2, with Glennon’s forceful run setting up Glynn for a well taken and needed Galway goal on 9 minutes.

By now Collins was at centre back, Iarla Tannian at wing back and Aidan Harte at midfield as Galway tried to get a grip on proceedings. Those switches worked, with the lively Harte beginning a scoring spree that saw Galway outscore Dublin by 0-9 to 0-2 by half time to build an interval lead of 1-11 to 1-9.

Damien Hayes, who was always involved in attack, Healy, sub Padraig Brehony and Tadhg Haran shot the pick of the scores and that Galway scoring sequence was all the more praiseworthy given the dismissal of midfielder Smith on a straight red card on 18 minutes following an off the ball incident with Conal Keaney who, himself, received a yellow from Wicklow referee John Keenan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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No Cup upsets as OLBC and Corrib Rangers both advance

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Date Published: 11-Feb-2013

Cup football generally brings out the best in the underdog, and while they ultimately came up short over the weekend, lower division sides Medtronic and Colga certainly made life difficult for Premier Division OLBC and Corrib Rangers before the top flight sides eventually prevailed in their Michael Byrne Cup contests.

In Connacht Junior Cup action, Oughterard and St Patricks were generally in command as they advanced to Fourth Round away ties against Glen Celtic and Ballinasloe Town.

Medtronic 3

OLBC 4

For first-time visitors to the confines of Roscam, the observations of the visiting camp are always the same: “it’s tight and it will be hard to play out there”.

And so it proved at the weekend as Medtronic fought back from two down to grab a 3-2 lead, before eventually succumbing to the high flying visitors.

Boys Club took an early lead, when David Horan got a touch to a Ronan Caldwell delivery and they added a second when Kieran Caldwell swept a David McDonagh cross past Conor Sweeney to make it 2-0.

Just before the break, Craig Cloherty set up Alan Nicholson to pull one back.

The visitors had a great opportunity to kill off the home challenge just a minute after the restart, but Danny McDonagh had a penalty well saved by Sweeney.

The miss seemed to inspire Medtronic as they contrived to take a 3-2 lead. Nicholson notched his second of the day when getting on the end of an Alan O’Riordan corner; and an upset appeared to be on the cards when Danny Donovan fired the home side ahead.

Despite being understrength, OLBC are nothing if not dogged

and Kieran Caldwell beat a covering defender before slotting home the equaliser.

With time running out they struck for the winner when Ronan Caldwell got his head to a Jason McDonagh corner to eventually kill off the home side’s challenge.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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