Date Published: 21-Mar-2013
ST. Thomas’ manager John Burke has praised his team for the focus and discipline they showed in their All-Ireland senior club final victory over Kilcormac/Killoughey of Offaly at Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day.
Having gone two substantial periods between the two halves without being awarded a single free by Cork referee John Sexton, Burke agreed his players could have got frustrated and lost their discipline. That they did not, he said, was a testament to their focus.
“I felt there were a couple of occasions when we might have got a free but, look it, I have said it to the lads before, it is not in our power and there is nothing we can do about it,” he noted. “All we can do about it is focus on the ball, and then the next ball, and keep at it.
“However, I did feel on a couple of occasions we could have got a free or two. At one stage, we had only got one free and I didn’t know what was going on. I suppose, it is over and done with now but I did notice it (the free count against) during the game.”
In the first half, it took 15 minutes before St. Thomas’ were awarded their first free – although the count had levelled out somewhat at 5-6 against them by half-time – while it would be almost 18 minutes into the second period when they secured their next free. The free count in the second half was eight-four against them. Quite often, most teams would get frustrated by such a statistic.
“We have worked a lot on that though for the last while because, you have to keep discipline and you have to keep focused on the job, and forget about everything else that you don’t have power over. There is no point worrying about it,” said Burke.
“Once they didn’t get sucked in or get vexed with the referee and started giving out, it meant they had kept their focus on the match. And that was proven in the end because we got the scores to win the game.”
Burke, however, did have some measure of sympathy for Kilcormac/Killoughey who, in addition to losing their full-forward Daniel Currams to injury the previous week, had also to contend with the sending offs of both midfielders, Damien Kilmartin and Killian Leonard, late in the game.
The St. Thomas’ boss acknowledged Leonard’s red card on 51 minutes was particularly harsh. “It was soft. I know it was right in front of me – and I was a bit annoyed when I saw it – but he couldn’t hold back. He went in to knock the ball away and Darragh (Burke) just got the ball in his hand at the time and he hit him. It was one of those things the referees are pulling for now. Once it is a strike, you’re gone.”
While he didn’t have a clear view of the second yellow card leading to Kilmartin’s sending off – it was arguably the first yellow that did the damage – Burke believed the dismissal of a second player took the wind out of Kilcormac/Killoughey’s sails. “Conor then popped over a couple of points and that was it.”
Meanwhile, Burke has also paid tribute to former Galway star and full-forward Richard Murray, who not alone netted a crucial goal in the first half but struck over two consecutive points to secure parity for his side when the game could have slipped away from them.
“He stood up and when that ball came in, he won it and put it over the bar. He said, ‘look it, give me the ball’ and that is the way he is. He stood up today and was counted. Richie, though, is a Superman. He has a lot done for us and he is worth his weight in gold for these young guys in here.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Galway have lot to ponder in poor show
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
FRANK FARRAGHER IN ENNISCRONE
GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.
The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.
There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.
It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.
Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.
Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.
Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.
Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.
Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.
Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Mervue United advance to the quarter-finals of U-17 FAI Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
On a weekend when the vast majority of the action fell by the wayside due to the inclement weather, Mervue United U-17 struck late to snatch a winner in Donegal as they qualified for the last eight of the FAI U-17 Cup following a success over Swilly Rovers.
Local League action saw just three games survive as OLBC notched a second half winner to defeat Hibernians to move into third position in the Premier League.
In the lower Divisions, table toppers Mervue United B and Moyne Villa continued on their merry ways with away wins over Bohemians and Naomh Briocain.
Swilly Rovers 0
Mervue United 1
In a game that was switched to a playable pitch in Fanad, Mervue United took a long time to assert their authority before striking late to give the home side no chance to respond.
The 89th minute winner was created by an Andrew Connolly flick on following a Ryan Manning thrown in and Schoolboy International Conor Melody made space for himself in the box before firing past Caolan Bolton.
It was no less than the visitors deserved against a young home side, but they had to work extremely hard for their victory.
While Anthoine O’Laoi missed a good first half opportunity, just a long range Manning free kick tested Bolton otherwise. Substitute John Migel Soler almost made an instant impact on the resumption, but was denied by a smart save.
Connolly, O’Laoi and Paul Healy all threatened a break though for the visitors, before a fine-tuned Melody eventually saved the day and secured the Mervue passage.
Mervue United: P Healy, Barry, Bailey, P Healy, Carroll, Melody, Assagbo, Manning, Cunningham (Soler), Connolly, O’Laoi.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.