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Carna Caiseal men return to top flight after final victory



Date Published: 10-Oct-2012

Carna-Caiseal 2-13

Athenry 0-7

Cian O’Connell at Pearse Stadium

THESE are interesting times for Carna-Caiseal who capped a splendid year with a fully merited County Intermediate Football final win over Athenry at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Carna-Caiseal controlled the tempo of this contest from the outset and while Athenry were rugged for the first quarter, the Connemara outfit eventually found their range. That meant Athenry were forced to chase the game and they aren’t built for that with Carna-Caiseal expertly exploiting the uncertainty.

Athenry brought their usual cocktail of courage and commitment to Salthill, but in deciders an extra bit of attacking class can be decisive and it was. Ultimately Carna-Caiseal had a far more potent forward unit and not even Athenry’s organisation could thwart Seán Ó Cualain’s charges.

Initially Athenry were everything the decent crowd expected them to be: solid and resourceful, dropping men behind the ball, and their pluck did frustrate Carna-Caiseal for a spell. Bizarrely neither team managed a score until Michael Ó Cathasaigh clipped a sweet 14th minute point and from that juncture on Athenry’s grit was overcome by Carna-Caiseal’s power and pace.

Physically imposing and adopting a smart running approach from the back, Carna-Caiseal also had the option of ferrying direct ball inside too where their star turn Niall Coyne was influential. The cute way Carna-Caiseal mixed the short and long style meant that Athenry were in distress and their industry didn’t carry as much value as it had earlier in the competition.

This fixture was always going to be decided by Carna-Caiseal’s mindset and the favourites were primed, ready, and able for the battle. Others might have got frustrated by the tough start considering Athenry were willing to get down and dirty, but Carna-Caiseal remained defiant.

Ó Cathasaigh’s first score was followed by an excellent Stiofán Ó Currín point. Declan Beirne, one of the few Athenry attackers to pose a threat, replied in the 17th minute, but Carna-Caiseal seized the initiative.

Four points in as many minutes gave them a commanding advantage and it badly damaged Athenry’s prospects. Their intention was to keep it low scoring, but Carna-Caiseal’s flurry was a significant statement.

Coyne, executing the target man role effectively, landed vital efforts either side of a fine point from captain Seosamh Seoige, who delivered several important cameos in the latter stages of the championship. Michael Ó Cathasaigh ended a fine Carna-Caiseal burst nudging them 0-6 to 0-1 ahead in the 24th minute, but Athenry were resilient.

Cathal Fahy, similar to Beirne was starved of quality possession, but he did wriggle clear to kick a point which was followed by a Ronan O’Reilly free. Suddenly questions were being posed of Carna-Caiseal again, but a settling pre interval score from Seoige off his weaker right foot gave them a 0-7 to 0-3 half-time cushion.

In a scrappy match it was quite a healthy buffer, but Carna-Caiseal wanted to inflict further damage during the third quarter. That is precisely what they did. Within nine seconds of the restart Seoige nailed a delightful score and then moments later added a free.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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