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Brilliant Bane is Caherlistrane’s key performer



Date Published: 02-Jun-2010

LED by a fantastic display from Cormac Bane, Caherlistrane were deserving winners of their Claregalway Hotel Galway Senior Football Championship backdoor match on Sunday despite having to save a penalty late in the second half to do so.

While An Cheathrú Rua held the majority of possession, they were unable to capitalise and give enough quality ball into a full forward line that looked dangerous anytime it was given a chance.

The match was won and lost in the contrasting fortunes of the team’s half forward lines.

For Caherlistrane, Bane put on master class display in linking defence and attack while taking scores himself when called upon.

An Cheathrú Rua’s half forward line on the other side were non-existent and it was left up to an industrious midfield and half back line to supply the final ball that, all too often, was lacking in precision.

The game began somewhat tentatively and despite an early score from Caherlistrane’s Shane Bohan after a 30 yard solo run, it took time to settle down as both teams played with the nerves natural to a knockout championship encounter.

Caherlistrane were quicker to breaking ball during the fractured first quarter of the match and found themselves leading 0-5 to 0-1, taking some opportunistic scores, the pick of which was a fine effort by J.J Greaney in the 12th minute.

An Cheathrú Rua continued to struggle to find that all important final ball despite winning their share of possession, epitomised best when Micheál Ó Briain soared above his man to field a kick out only to land the pass twenty metres into the terraces.

Not to be disheartened, they continued to work tirelessly, particularly when tackling defenders in possession with Shane Ó Súilleabháin at corner forward covering every blade of grass possible.

That effort paid off in the 22nd minute when Tomas Monahan lazily kicked a free back across his own 21 which was intercepted brilliantly by Ciarán de Paor who instantly found his brother Cillín in support. After a quick hand pass exchange between the two, which stranded Philip Skelly in the Caherlistrane goal, Cillín buried the ball in the back of an open net and the match suddenly jumped into life.

An Cheathrú Rua started to play much better after the goal and began to get some purchase out of the Caherlistrane defence whenever they could isolate them one on one. However, Bane and Greaney stepped up for the north Galway outfit and played patient football keeping possession well to stem the momentum building, helping their side to maintain their advantage and enter the break leading 0-7 to 1-2.

The pace of the contest increased significantly in the second half as An Cheathrú Rua threw everything into a last effort to stay in the championship. The de Paor brothers in particular sparkled into form and after a well worked point by Barry McCabe for Caherlistrane, Cillín and Ciarán de Paor combined for three points in the space of five minutes to level proceedings at 1-5 to 0-8 points ten minutes into the second half.

Despite Bane and Greaney once again combining to restore Caherlistrane’s two point lead, the men from the Gaeltacht were beginning to dominate possession. Ciarán Ó Cualáin was particularly impressive at midfield alongside his partner Micheál Ó Briain whose delivery into the full-forward line improved as the match progressed.

It was during this stretch of dominance that Gearóid Ó Conghaile was hauled down in the small rectangle after picking up a dropped ball by Brendan Murphy while attempting to come out of defence. Shane Ó Súilleabháín, who had been fantastic for An Cheathrú Rua all through, failed to connect as he would have wished, sending a weak shot to the bottom left corner which was easily stopped by Skelly in the Caherlistrane goal.

Shortly afterwards, Ó Cualáin missed another golden opportunity from five yards out after fielding a ball sent in by Ciarán de Paor. Despite the two misses, the momentum was with An Cheathrú Rua who levelled up the scoreline with two Ciarán de Paor points, the second coming with five minutes to play.

From there until the end, however, it was the Cormac Bane show. First he set up Eric Monahan for the lead point before kicking over two further points in the last three minutes to seal the win for Caherlistrane.

An Cheathrú Rua had calls for a foot block late into injury time in front of their goal, but it was waved away and they never came any closer than that to getting the second goal they needed


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

Flying start for hurlers



Date Published: 25-Feb-2013


THERE was mixed fortunes for Galway’s senior GAA teams in their respective National League games at the weekend, with the hurlers accounting for the reigning champions Kilkenny and the footballers suffering a surprise defeat away to Louth.

Almost 10,000 people turned up at Pearse Stadium on Sunday to watch Galway’s 3-11 to 0-17 victory over the All-Ireland champions – although an official attendance could not be secured as the gates had to be opened before throw-in to accommodate the large number of patrons still seeking to gain entry.

Some confusion over the 2pm start time to the fixture – it has originally been scheduled for 2:30pm by Croke Park – would appear to be the underlining reason for the chaotic scenes at the turnstiles, although the hundreds of fans who gained free entry into the game will not be complaining.

In any event, Galway coach Tom Helebert was delighted with the numbers supporting the Leinster champions in Pearse Stadium and, despite losing the All-Ireland final after a replay last September, he believed the buzz was still very much in Galway hurling.

“There was a great crowd in attendance today – great support – and they responded very strongly to the good things we were doing over the course of the game and that is why the result was important,” said Helebert.

“We’ve worked very hard to make sure we are making progress with every game – performance related progress – and that is our focus. That is why getting goals, not conceding a goal, and building on some of the blocks we had there from last year was very important to us today.”

Goals from Mullagh’s Davy Glennon, Craughwell’s Niall Healy and Portumna’s Damien Hayes set the home side on their way to victory and, again, Helebert noted that the goalscoring prowess of the trio was a reflection of the talent currently in the side.

“We know that within the squad we have a couple of guys who are good finishers. So, you are always trying to set up how to get the right ball into these lads. And, today, particularly against the breeze in the first half when the ball wasn’t travelling as solidly forward, we were able to open up the space and that was a great advantage to us because we had good stickmen inside. The couple of chances came our way and that was fantastic.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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Archive News

Galway’s first-half goals prove crucial in first league test



Date Published: 27-Feb-2013

Galway 3-11

Kilkenny 0-17


THREE first half goals – all of which were set-up by the classy Joe Canning – laid the foundation for an opening day win over reigning champions Kilkenny in this entertaining first round National League fixture at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

In many respects, most of the intensity to be found in this clash between last year’s two All-Ireland finalists was conjured up in a lively opening period and this was much appreciated by the vocal 9,000 plus hurling enthusiasts who turned up at the City venue.

After the frantic – and, often, nervous – early exchanges, Galway exploded to life in a 90 second spell when Mullagh’s Davy Glennon and Craughwell’s Niall Healy showed brilliant opportunism to pounce for the opening two goals.

On 14 minutes, a probing Canning delivery eluded tussling duo Jonathan Glynn and JJ Delaney and when the ball shot out the back, Glennon was onto it with lightning speed to pull first time to the Kilkenny net. It was clinical from Glennon.

While the Cats were licking themselves down, the Tribesmen’s caught them cold again shortly after; this time, Canning’s decisive ball finding Healy, who, swivelling neatly off his marker, cut inside and dispatched a pin-point effort beyond the hapless Eoin Murphy.

Those two goals put Galway 2-3 to 0-3 to the good and Anthony Cunningham, Mattie Kenny and Tom Helebert could not have asked for a better start from their charges. In many ways, the two majors underlined the mercurial side of Galway’s play, in that the team was having serious problems with their distribution in the early stages but, out of that, the two goals came from two excellent deliveries.

That said, the third Canning delivery was the crème de la crème. Under pressure touching the right sideline, the Portumna man spotted his club-mate Damien Hayes out of the corner of his eye and with unerring accuracy Canning executed a sublime cross field ball to find him.

It was then Hayes turn to work a little magic . . . taking the ball down so his angle would not be as acute, slipping seamlessly beyond the legendary Tommy Walsh, cutting inside the imposing Jackie Tyrrell and hammering home an unstoppable effort at the near post. You couldn’t replay that passage of play enough!

In any event, that 32nd minute effort came at an absolutely crucial time for Galway – given Kilkenny had struck over five points in a row through Richie Power (free and 65), Tommy Walsh, Richie Hogan (free) and Lester Ryan to cut the deficit to just one.

In addition, Galway were finding it difficult to hit the target from play from further out the field, underlined by the fact that they only hit one point from play – through Gort midfielder Aidan Harte in the third minute – in the opening half.

The Tribesmen would not score a point again until the 46th minute when Jonathan Glynn and substitute Tadgh Haran combined to set up Hayes for the well-worked score. The only consolation was that Kilkenny, despite beginning to impose themselves in the middle third, were only able to muster up a single point of their own through a Hogan free in the opening 11 minutes of the second half.

Despite shipping those three first half goal goals, there were times when Kilkenny were the better side but, uncharacteristically, their accuracy up front let them down, particularly in the second period. In this time, they shot ten wides to Galway’s three, with Hogan the biggest culprit.

Early in the second period, the Danesfort sharpshooter had two frees in front of the posts but, inexplicably, he struck his efforts left and right of the target. To some extent, this was the turning point of the contest.


For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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