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Clifden man plans a risky road trip – driving 10,000 miles to Mongolia



Date Published: {J}

By Eamonn McLoughlin

Clifden man Fearghus Foyle is planning a road trip with a difference this summer – driving 10,000 miles to Mongolia.

Described as one of world’s last great adventure races, the ‘Mongol Rally’ involves competitors driving across a third of the world through some of the roughest terrain in cars better designed for city use.

Competing under the name ‘Team Terremoto’, the London-based Galwayman will be joined on the trip by John Martin from Carrickmacross and Tralee man Paudie Sugrue.

The team aim to raise €10,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the Christina Noble Foundation, hoping to raise €1 for each of the 10,000 miles they will cross.

Though no stranger to remote places and extended travelling, Fearghus jokingly said “We had signed up (to the rally) before we realised what we were getting ourselves into”. Leaving in July, the rally will take Team Terremoto from Ireland through Europe, across deserts, over mountains and onto to the vast Mongolian plains, ending in the capital Ulaanbaatar.

Planning the route along the old Silk Road, the team will pass through countries which the Department of Foreign Affairs recommend are best avoided. Among the many possible dangers they will face are treacherous roads, car jacking, theft and terrorism.

“Our biggest challenge will be Iran and Afghanistan and crossing the high mountain ranges,” said Fearghus, “though I’d be more concerned with breaking down in a remote area than the treat of terrorism.”

Among the precautions the team are taking will be a supply of radios and a GPS system but Fearghus sombrely points out: “There will be no backup, it will be just us three”.

The team hope supporters will be able to track their progress in real time on their website (

The rally team will drive an ’02 Nissan Almera 1.3, which Fearghus modestly described as “not ideally suited for the trip, though that’s part of the challenge”.

While none of the team are mechanics, Fearghus feels “Pretty confident we can do it in that car”, adding: “John is a plumber!”

As part of their fundraising efforts the team are organising a golf competition at the Connemara Golf Club in Ballyconneely this Saturday from 11am to 3pm, and entry for each team of four is €200.

Fearghus described the response as “Pretty good, we have 15-20 teams so far. Hopefully we will reach 30 teams, which will raise €6,000 for the charities”.

Kate White, Fundraising Director of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research said: “Every cent raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will help make a difference to the lives of patients with blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.”

Among the other fundraising efforts will be a ‘Battle of the Bands’, table quizzes, and raffles held around the country and in London.

To book a place in the golf competition, call the golf club on 095 23502

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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