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Champs Tipperary given torrid time by the Dubs

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

THERE’S no doubt about it anymore – Dublin are here to stay as a major hurling power. It wasn’t just the seniors’ noble effort against All-Ireland champions Tipperary at Croke Park last Sunday which underlined that development, but also the impressive showing of the county’s minors who had their Waterford opponents ripped to pieces by half-time in the first of the day’s All-Ireland semi-finals.

Leading by 17 points at the interval, the rising stars of Dublin hurling had made short work of the Munster finalists in the opening-half with their physicality, athleticism and skill turning the match into a one-sided contest. The young Dubs finished up with 6-19 to their credit and with the county U-21s virtually guaranteed – they play Antrim on Saturday evening – to reach to reach an All-Ireland final as well, Dublin has clearly an abundance of quality talent coming through.

Mind you, the fact that the Dublin defence conceded 5-13 to a gallant Waterford outfit last Sunday means that their minors are far from the complete package. Next month’s final opponents Galway will also strand up to them a lot more physically in what has all the potential to be a classic showdown. It will be the first time that Dublin will have appeared in a minor decider since they lost to the Westerners in 1983 – a day when Galway lifted the Irish Press Cup for the first time ever.

The senior semi-final saw Tipperary survive an almighty scare from Anthony Daly’s men. Set up defensively, with midfielder John McCaffrey operating as a sweeper across the half-back line, Dublin rattled the somewhat below par champions with a high intensity performance which was characterised by some excellent point taking in the opening-half after getting off to the worst possible start.

Just two minutes were on the clock when emergency full back Peter Kelly, who went on to produce a powerful second-half, misjudged a delivery from Shane McGrath, allowing goal machine Lar Corbett to just nip the sliotar to the net in a tussle with opposition goalkeeper Gary Maguire. It was the last thing Dublin needed, but it didn’t rattle them as they went on to dominate large tracts of the opening-half.

By the 19th minute, they had deservedly surged into a 0-9 to 1-3 lead. Alan McCrabbe, Dotsy O’Callaghan, Liam Rushe, Paul Ryan, excellent centre back Joey Boland, and Liam Ryan all picked off some wonderful points while, at the other end of the field, the Tipperary attack were being denied the time and space they have become accustomed to. Still, Corbett was doing damage and by the interval, he had picked off a priceless 1-3 and though Maguire did well to deny Seamus Callanan a goal chance, Tipperary must have been somewhat relieved to have retired level, 1-8 to 0-11, at half time.

 

Ultimately, however, it was the title holders’ positive start to the second-half which proved critical in the end. Three unanswered points from a previously subdued Noel McGrath and Eoin Kelly (two placed balls) ensured Dublin were playing catch up for the reminder of the half. They did manage to equalise on a couple of occasions, but Tipperary always seemed to be able to respond at the other end.

Eoin Kelly may have been struggling in open play, but his accuracy from the placed ball – he pointed three 65’s in the second-half – was exemplary, while McGrath continued to be a growing influence.

Furthermore, wing back Padraig Maher stormed up the field to pick off two rousing points as Dublin tired a little – no surprise really given the manner in which their players admirably emptied themselves on the battlefield. Another key factor in Tipperary’s hard fought victory was the commanding presence of Conor O’Mahony at centre back in the second-half.

There were probably times du

ring the game when Tipperary manager Declan Ryan thought his team were in big trouble, but in terms of the build up to next month’s All-Ireland final, he got what he was looking for – the removal of some of the hype and a reality check for even a few of their more raucous supporters. Like Kilkenny in their semi-final victory, Tipperary got the job done but didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

Though the Dublin camp will be gutted this week, it’s been some year for them. Winners of the Walsh Cup and National League, together with championship victories over Offaly, Galway and Limerick, they have made giant leaps forwards in 2011 and such is the levels of single-mindedness in the squad they will be determined to make further progress next year. And all of this against a background of a team riddled by injuries to several influential players.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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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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