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Boost for Galway as Meehan set to line out in Belfast



Date Published: 12-Jul-2012


SO far, it’s been a ‘tales of the unexpected’ Summer in terms of GAA championship shocks and Galway footballers will travel to Casement Park, Belfast, on Saturday (3pm throw-in) with their early warning radar system turned onto the ‘highly sensitive’ setting for the Round 2 qualifiers clash with Antrim.

Galway will navigate north on Friday evening with the unwanted favourites tag firmly nailed to their backs, but in the wake of their Connacht semi-final demise at the hands of Sligo, Alan Mulholland’s charges will pay little heed to their 1/3 odds for the clash with Antrim.

Antrim mightn’t be regarded as being among the ‘big hitters’ of Ulster football but manager Liam Bradley made no secret of the fact that earlier this Spring they had targeted the provincial title, only to be thwarted by Monaghan in the quarter-final, but only just.

Liam Bradley’s team had looked to be on course for a somewhat unexpected success midway through the second half of that match following a James Loughrey goal, but by all accounts the introduction of one Tommy Freeman turned the game the way of Monaghan.

Antrim might have struggled to extract a 2-11 to 2-9 victory over London last month but with the exodus of young males from Ireland to England’s capital over recent years, the trip to Ruislip is not to be taken for granted anymore.

It is also worth noting that on the first Sunday of February this year, Antrim recorded a 0-13 to 0-12 success over Sligo in Casement Park, so it can be a difficult enough place to come away with a win.

Antrim are quite a strong and physical side, so Galway will be gearing themselves for a tough battle, and Alan Mulholland is under no illusions about the task facing his side on Sunday.

“We have been well warned that Casement Park is not an easy place to get a result from but, listen, this is the chance for us to re-ignite our championship ambitions and it’s a game that we’re all looking forward to.

“The way football is at present – and indeed hurling too after last Sunday – any team can beat any other team on a given day. Names and reputations count for nothing – it really is all about producing the goods on the day,” said Alan Mulholland.

The Galway manager said that the display of the hurlers last Sunday was an ‘absolute inspiration’ to everyone in the county and set a great example for the footballers.

“We will need a big display on Sunday but we’ve worked hard over the past five weeks since our defeat to Sligo. That defeat was a terrible disappointment to everyone but we’ve had time since to pick ourselves up and move on,” said Alan Mulholland.

The Galway team will not be announced until tonight (Thursday) but it is pretty certain that there will be a number of changes from the side that went down to Sligo in Pearse Stadium on June 9.

Galway have played challenges against Clare, Cork and Limerick over recent weeks and it seems likely – based on those lineouts – that Gary O’Donnell will take over the no. 6 jersey with Jonathan Duane reverting to a corner back role. The other corner back slot rests between Ballinasloe’s Keith Kelly and Corofin’s Ciaran McGrath.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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