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Blank weekend for sport

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Date Published: 07-Jan-2010

AND another one bites the dust. The prolonged cold spell is in danger of playing havoc again and completely wiping out this weekend’s sporting fixtures – Connacht’s Friday night Magners League clash with the Newport Gwent Dragons has been called-off.

A combination of freezing ground conditions at the Sportsground and the snow storms and lethal driving conditions in the UK, which made it unsafe for the Welsh outfit to travel, has forced Connacht to postpone this Friday’s match.

The postponement comes just a week after the interprovincial Leinster match was called off on Saturday and is likely to cause serious fixtures headaches for the remainder of the season. It is believed this is the first time since 1963 a match has been postponed due to weather at the Sportsground and the first time ever two matches have been called-off two weeks in succession.

Connacht Rugby consulted with clubs in the UK who are used to dealing with this type of weather and had brought in extra blow

heaters to ensure Friday’s match could proceed but ultimately it was all in vain because the Dragons also felt it was unsafe to drive from Newport to London Luton Airport, where there was widespread disruption to flights as well.

“It’s very disappointing but we have to put safety of players and safety of travel first,” said CEO Gerry Kelly, who added that tickets for both matches will be honoured.

Meanwhile, racing at the Galway greyhound Track also fell victim to the severe weather.

Saturday’s racing card was postponed and racing this Friday and Saturday has been called-off. There are also serious doubts over the cards planned for the following Friday and Saturday night and a decision will be made this coming Monday.

Fintan Monahan, General Manager of Galway greyhound Stadium said the track was frozen and it would be like racing on concrete which would be unsafe for the dogs.

The Galway footballer’s FBD League first round clash with Sligo on Sunday at 2pm at Tuam Stadium has also been postponed due to the freezing conditions.

Football Board Secretary Seamus O’Grady told Tribune Sport he had hoped the match would proceed as planned because a postponement will cause a fixtures headache for the FBD competition, the final of which is due to be played the week before the National League commences. The League format has been altered in light of the postponements.

O’Grady said it was too early to tell if the match will be played although it is unlikely. A pitch inspection will be held on the day and supporters should listen to sports updates on the radio, he said.

GMIT’s clash with Leitrim in Cloone at 2pm on Sunday and NUI, Galway’s clash with Mayo in Garrymore near Ballina at 2pm, on Sunday, are also fall by the wayside as weather conditions further north in the province are worse than here. The three games have been re-scheduled for the same venues on Sunday, January 17 at 2pm.

There was no disruption to the last remaining hurling fixtures to be played. Hurling Board Secretary John Fahey said it was always the intention to reconvene on the third weekend of January. The senior, intermediate and u21B league semi-finals and finals have yet to be played and will go ahead the weekend of January 23.

Several soccer matches were cancelled in the county last weekend and the prognosis for this Saturday and Sunday’s Galway soccer fixtures is not good either.

For the latest updates on sports cancellations stay tuned to Galway Bay FM.

 

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Archive News

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

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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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