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Canning’s return a major boost for Offaly showdown



Date Published: 14-Jun-2012


The Galway senior hurlers have received a massive boost ahead of their Leinster championship hurling semi-final showdown at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise this Sunday (2pm), with the news that ace marksman Joe Canning is expected to be fit to resume his place in the attack.


It is understood the Portumna sharpshooter has responded positively to treatment after suffering a recurrence of the shoulder injury he sustained playing with Limerick IT in the Fitzgibbon Cup back in February, in a challenge game against Clare recently.

As a result, Canning was forced to sit out Galway’s 5-19 to 4-12 victory over Westmeath in their Leinster championship opener – although, as the scoreline suggests, the Tribesmen’s attack coped sufficiently without him on that occasion.

In any event, it is expected Canning will be named in the starting fifteen when Galway manager Anthony Cunningham announces his selection this evening (Thursday).

However, it still remains to be seen if defender David Collins will feature having aggravated an ankle injury he picked up in the club hurling championship, although Galway coach Tom Helebert is optimistic about the Liam Mellows man’s participation.

“I suppose, David Collins is the more concerning – his injury is slightly more serious – but hopefully he will be okay,” says Helebert, who adds that other than Collins, Galway have no fresh injury worries.

That said, heading into this one, Galway are not without theirconcerns, given the concession of four goals against Division 2A outfit Westmeath in their Leinster championship opener. Helebert concedes the Tribesmen can’t be as generous against Offaly, who boast of quality forwards like Shane Dooley, Joe Bergin and Cathal Parlon, to mention but three.

“They are all strong ball winners and strong finishers, so we have to make sure our game is very solid at the back the next day,” says Helebert. “In fairness, we have been focusing on that in training over the last week and hopefully it will all work out when we need it to on Sunday.”

The signs have been good in this regard with Galway already keeping a clean sheet against Tipperary in a challenge at Semple Stadium last weekend. The contest ended 3-16 to 0-21 in Galway’s favour, with two players to make an impact being Sarsfields’ Joseph Cooney and Ardrahan’s Jonathan Glynn, both of whom, consequently, are in contention for starting berths against Offaly.

“That was a good workout and the important thing on the night was that we had a good defensive performance,” continues Helebert.

“Fellows were very much focused on making sure the goal area wasn’t threatened and they were determined not to let Tipperary score any goals on the night. So, that was very encouraging given what had happened against Westmeath the Sunday before.

“Again, it was a good workout in terms of what we were trying to focus on and thankfully we got the result from it. While I know it was only a challenge game – and challenges are different to championship – it is the same ideas that you are trying to put into play. So, we were pleased from that point of view.”

In any event, it’s Offaly who present Galway’s next championship test. Having registered their first Leinster championship win over Wexford in 12 years, when accounting for the Model County on a 2-12 to 1-13 in the quarter-final a fortnight ago, Offaly will be well primed for Sunday’s clash.

Already, Offaly manager Ollie Baker has announced an unchanged side for the semi-final and, again, it is a formidable outfit. Goalkeeper James Dempsey resumes his place between the posts while Derek Morkan, captain David Kenny, David Franks and James Rigney are all established members in the Midlanders’ defence.

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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