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Burke produces a Roy of the Rovers effort to sink Cork



Date Published: {J}

Galway 2-17

Cork 2-13

STEPHEN GLENNON at Pairc Ui Chaoimh

Galway’s senior hurlers may not have held the Liam McCarthy Cup in their hands for nearly 25 years but, on days like these, you just have to admit that when the humour is on them they do give value for money.


In front of a partisan and swelling Páirc Uí Chaoimh crowd on Sunday, the Tribesmen showcased the very best – and worst – of their persona. In the first half, they regressed into old habits and taunted their small band of travelling supporters with some poor handling, loose marking and reckless shooting.

It really was a naïve, if not lazy, first half effort as Galway slipped eight points into arrears by the 27th minute – 1-7 to 0-2 – and they still trailed by 1-9 to 0-7 at the break. Added to this, they hit no fewer than nine wides in this period and lost the free count 9-6 . . . with three of those six Galway frees awarded in the final four minutes of the half.

Yet, in the second period, a more disciplined Galway emerged a rejuvenated side after, one suspects, some home truths were said and reputations, even at this early stage in the young squad’s development, were put on the line.

In any event, the attitude was far better after the interval as Anthony Cunningham’s outfit outscored the home side 2-10 to 1-4. Of this Galway tally, Oranmore/Maree sharpshooter Niall Burke hit 1-1 on the stroke of full-time to snatch the victory and his 69th minute goal can only be described as being of the ‘wonder’ variety.

It was a sweet move in the lead-up. Man-of-the-match and midfielder David Burke, who worked tirelessly throughout, made the delivery with substitute Joseph Cooney, making a deft handpass into space, presenting the Oranmore/Maree man with the opportunity. His first time pull was magnificent. Cork custodian Donal Óg Cusack’s world, for an instant, became a blur.

A minute later, substitute Cyril Donnellan hassled and harried Cusack into a sloppy clearance and Burke picked up the loose possession and shot a tasty effort to secure a four-point victory – a victory that appeared so unlikely in the first half.

Indeed, those opening 27 minutes were something of a nightmare for the visitors, although, you could argue, they were very much authors of their own downfall. Simply, their lacklustre display was as much unforgivable as it was unexplainable, particularly when you think of the efforts they went to in trying to overthrow Tipperary the week previous.


In any event, Cork had four points through Patrick Horgan (three frees) and Jamie Coughlan – a super score – on the board before the maroon and white who, incredibly, had tallied six wides before eventually finding the target, registered their first points through Damien Hayes and Niall Burke (free) on 15 and 16 minutes respectively.

Despite those Galway efforts, Jimmy Barry Murphy’s men were looking sharper and hungrier and this continued to be reinforced as new kid on the block Conor Lehane and Horgan (two frees) added further points before Cathal Naughton, following good work from Coughlan and Paudie O’Sullivan, ghosted in to net Cork’s first goal on 27 minutes.

It was difficult to see a way back for Galway, given the manner in which they were – or were not – playing at this stage. For some inexplicable reason, they did not look confident in their surroundings or in possession; were, again, struggling under the high ball; too many handpassess were going astray; and the movement of the forwards was not as good as previous games.

In addition, most of the time the forwards were looking for the soft ball and this lack of intensity in this sector was in danger of permeating right throughout the side.

As the home supporters in the crowd were commenting on the gulf in class between the two teams, Galway, for the remainder of the half, began to chip away at the Leesiders’ lead with points from Iarla Tannian, David Burke and Niall Burke (three frees). It left Galway trailing 1-9 to 0-7 – a more manageable deficit – but, still, it was hard to see them overhauling their opponents in the second period.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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