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Calasanctius Basketballers U19 champs



Date Published: 20-Dec-2007

THE basketballers of Calasanctius College, Oranmore, defeated Summerhill College, Sligo, in the Western Regional final to retain the Under 19A title in Maree Gym on Friday last.

They had to counter a strong Summerhill start which saw them race into a 6-1 lead in the first quarter, with the 6’ 7” Toafik Mustapha looking dangerous. But the Calasanctius 2-3 zone began to kick in however, with Conor Foley and George Rahmani commanding the defence, and they began to control their own rebounds.

At the other end of the floor, David Hansberry, who played solid post offence all game, hit five points, helping the Oranmore team reel in Summerhill and take an 11-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw guards Liam Conroy and Cathal Finn combine for an outstanding 24 of Calasanctius’ awesome 26 points, with Conroy penetrating on the dribble and scoring with floaters, and Finn hot from the perimeter, including two threes. At the half, it was Calasanctius 37 Summerhill 19.

Sligo’s Mustapha,with the first three baskets of the third…..

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

Monroe’s is the best live music venue in Ireland



Date Published: 01-Mar-2013

By Denise McNamara

A Galway venue has been voted the best live music venue in the country, for the first time in the five-year history of the awards.

Monroe’s Live scooped the National Live Music Venue of the Year award at the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) headquarters in Dublin on Tuesday following a vote by the public.

The Róisín Dubh was named best venue in Connacht but this was collated from votes from IMRO’s 8,000 members.

Opening its doors over two floors in 2009, Monroe’s Live above the well-known pub on the corner of Dominick Street has been a huge hit with Galway audiences from the off.

Partner Fergus McGinn, who took over the lease of the building in 2006, said the award would bring brand awareness to the venue nationally.

“It was a massive investment to develop what was here already with the tradition of good music and good service. We wanted to provide a bigger stage and bring in bigger crowds,” enthused a delighted Fergus.

“There were plenty of night clubs for younger age groups and not as much for older and middle aged people. Once you hit 20 you were old!,” remarked the 45-year-old.

“You still want to go out and dance but not in a nightclub atmosphere. We’ve hosted 40th, 50th and 60th birthdays. We’re a place for a local crowd who are not into the high tempo Saturday night stuff.”

Monroe’s has been host to Cathy Davey, Neil Hannon, Ryan Sheridan, Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon, The Stunning and Brian Kennedy.

For 2013, gigs lined up include Maria Doyle Kennedy, Janet Devlin, Atomic Kitten, East 17, Jack L, Lúnasa.

It has become a magnet for local bands such as the Timber Tramps and Oddity who relish the chance to play on a large stage. Last week the venue hosted The Last Waltz, which featured a host of local bands.

With music seven nights a week in the building and a late night bar over the weekend upstairs, Monroe’s is a hive of activity year-round, regularly employing 50 staff a night.

The hardest thing about running a live music venue is convincing people to pay up at the door, admits Fergus.

“We’re trying to keep the admission costs down. It can be trying to charge people at the minute. But we have three or four bands a night, with five or six in each band,” he explained.

“Other than paying the bands we have to pay sound engineers, door staff, bar staff and cleaning-up staff – the costs are massive. You have to charge on the door. But if you give them good quality ceol they are willing to. Also the West End is thriving at the minute.”

Previous winners of the top prize included the Cork Opera House and The Olympia in Dublin the year before that.

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Folk-pop mix on the menu as Hermitage Green play Galway



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

Hermitage Green, a folk outfit with a pop tinge play Róisín Dubh this Saturday. The quintet formed two years ago as the lads played music over a few pints in the back room of The Curragower Bar in Limerick city. Those informal jam sessions caught the ear of lead singer Barry Murphy’s brother, who runs the bar.

“There was a soccer match across the road in Thomond Park, Sunderland were playing or something like that,” recalls Barry, who also plays bass. “There were people there who had a bar out in Adare village, and they asked us to come out and play.”

From then on, Hermitage Green found themselves in demand in their home town – at one point they were playing six nights a week in different venues.

“That whole folk scene blew open when Mumford & Sons and the likes of those bands came around,” says Barry. “That, in hand with the recession, meant bars seemed to be competing with each other a lot more; pubs in Limerick that never had live music decided they needed it to get people in. There was a demand for that kind of music, not big sound systems. Just acoustic, folky kind of stuff.”

The other members of Hermitage Green include Barry’s multi-instrumentalist brother Dan, Darragh Griffin on guitar, Darragh Graham on banjo and djembe and Dermot Sheedy on bodhrán.

Since September, Hermitage Green has become a fulltime endeavour for its members. They have also made the transition to playing their own songs, releasing their debut EP, The Gathering last year.

“Once we had a full set of originals, it was difficult to do the bar stuff,” says Barry. “If you’re doing covers, the credibility of your originals takes a bit of a beating. We’ve been doing that for about six months now.”

That said, they’ll throw in a cover if they feel like it (like Florence & The Machine’s Cosmic Love is a favourite) – or if the occasion demands it.

“Sometimes, you do a college gig where you want to throw in a few more covers,” says Barry. “We did a Rag Week in Cork and a ball in Galway; we did a few there because they’d want you to play longer. But I don’t think people want to pay money and hear you do covers.”


Having two brothers in the one band can sometimes make for a fractious relationship – just look at the Gallaghers! Has either of the Murphys ever come close to throwing guitars at each other?

“We haven’t had too many fallings out,” says Barry. “I’m a good five years older than him, but I look about five years younger. And he acts about five years older than me, so we kind of meet each other in the middle!

“He’s got a good head on his shoulders,” Barry observes of Dan.

“And he’s a boxer! No, we get on great. The five of us are good mates.”

Dan’s talent was apparent to Barry when the older Murphy was a teenager. He gave his younger brother a brief tutorial, and that was that.

“He was better than me after two weeks!” Barry laughs. “I was 16, he was 11. I was showing him chords, and he just became obsessed with it. Now, he can play pretty much every instrument under the sun. If you come to our show you’ll see he’ll have harmonica, didgeridoo, guitar, slide guitar, banjo and piano as well.”

Although Hermitage Green are keen to follow up their four-track EP The Gathering with a full album, their priority for now is building up a following through their live shows.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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