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Canning gives red card to the clampdown on tough tackling



Date Published: {J}


LONG serving Galway defender, Ollie Canning says he is disappointed by the number of yellow and red cards being dished out by referees in this year’s championship – believing the physical element is “slowly and surely being squeezed out of the game of hurling.”

Speaking ahead of Galway’s historic Leinster final showdown with Kilkenny this Sunday, the experienced Canning – who has given well over a decade of service to his county’s cause – has noted a discernible change in the manner in which games are being handled this year, with referees, it would appear, under pressure to produce the cards.

“I am disappointed myself with the way the games are being refereed at the moment,” says Canning. “You can’t be pointing at the referees on this either or complaining too much about it. Their hands are tied to a degree. That said, a lot of the yellow cards that are being given out, there is no real intention to do an injury to another player or do any major damage. Players are just going hard at it.

“I don’t see from two or three years ago how things have changed so much. So, it is an aspect of the game I am not that happy with myself. I just feel the physicality is being slowly and surely being squeezed out of the game of hurling and I don’t think it is the right way to go with it.”


In many respects, it is somewhat ironic that Galway – a team often criticised for its lack of physicality in recent years – should be a side now suffering from this new direction, having Andy Smith sent off in their opening game against Wexford and young midfielder David Burke dismissed in last weekend’s Leinster semi-final replay against Offaly.

Indeed, having finally added some physicality to their game, it would now appear they are being harshly punished for doing so. “Yeah, but I mean it is the same for other teams,” says the Portumna man.

“Wexford had a guy sent off against us as well, two guys actually. One of those was Diarmuid Lyng, who is a very decent guy and a nice fellow and his record speaks for itself as regards his discipline. David Burke, a nice young lad, was sent off against Offaly. I can tell you, all he wants to do is go out and hurl.

“It just seems players are picking up yellow cards and red cards for innocuous challenges. I haven’t seen anything in a lot of those challenges to suggest that a player is out to do another player an injury. I just feel myself, some of the players who are more physical in their approach, they might have to hold back slightly. Because if you get booked early in a game, then you are looking over your shoulder all the time and you are being extra careful, which maybe is distracting you or taking away from your game as well.”

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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