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Canning a major doubt for league relegation decider



Date Published: 12-Apr-2012


IT is still ‘touch and go’ if sharpshooter Joe Canning will be fit in time for Galway’s crunch Division 1A relegation play-off game against Dublin at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday (2:30pm).

Although Canning has resumed full training, Galway boss Anthony Cunningham believed the relegation play-off might be pushing it for the return of the Portumna ace. “I suppose, to be honest, this game is coming too soon for him,” said Cunningham. “If he is not right, we won’t play him. It is the type of injury – a shoulder injury – that if it is not right, you can’t really play with it.”

Canning sustained the injury when lining out for Limerick IT in a Fitzgibbon Cup game in early February – rupturing the AC joint. Having tallied 2-24 in the Walsh Cup campaign (2-7 from play), he looked to be in flying form heading into the League.

However, the injury subsequently ruled him out of that campaign and while Canning, it is understood, has made good progress, the management now face the tough decision of do they rush him back for Sunday’s pivotal play-off?

One suspects that if Canning is anyway right, they will, but in saying that their prolific marksman is not their only concern. There could well be a goalkeeping crisis come Sunday, should Craughwell’s Jamie Ryan fail to recover from a calf injury.

Ryan tore the muscle lining out at full-forward for Craughwell’s U-21s in their county championship semi-final victory over Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry last weekend. With Galway’s No. 1 custodian James Skehill already on the treatment table with a shoulder injury, the loss of Ryan would see the Galway management dipping into the development squad.

Currently holding the No. 1 jersey there is Fergal Flannery, who was on the bench for Galway’s 25-point drubbing at the hands of Kilkenny. While the Padraig Pearses man and former All-Ireland winning goalkeeper is no stranger to the big occasion, Sunday’s clash would represent his greatest challenge yet.

Adding to the Tribesmen’s woes has been the recurrence of a hand injury to Niall Healy in training earlier this week. Healy has been plagued with the injury this year and this latest setback which sees him out of Sunday’s tie, is not only a blow to Galway, but to the player himself as he was well in contention for a starting berth against Dublin.

Two others in a race to be fit are Killimordaly defender Declan Connolly and the versatile Joseph Cooney. Connolly is still struggling with a ligament ankle injury while Cooney, one of the few to show some mettle in the defeat to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny a fortnight ago, sustained a heavy injury lining out for Sarsfields in a recent club game.

There has also been some movement in and out of the panel in the past two weeks, with three of last year’s All-Ireland-winning minors – Shane Maloney, Padraig Breheny (both Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry) and Jonathan Glynn (Ardrahan) – stepping up to the senior squad, while Gort’s Richie Cummins and Sarsfields’ Niall Quinn have also joined the Galway set-up.

But Aidan Harte, Jason Grealish (both Gort), Mark Lydon (Moycullen) and Donal Cooney (St. Thomas’) have all been released from the panel while another to part ways with the senior squad in the last month has been Killimordaly’s Eanna Ryan.

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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