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Close shave for Leitir Mor



Date Published: 05-Nov-2009

NAOMH Eanna Leitir Mór almost came unstuck at Pearse Stadium on Sunday and just about survived a late Cloone rally to hang on for a one-point victory in the semifinal of the Connacht intermediate club football championship.

An Spidéal advanced easily against Leitrim opposition Aughavas in the earlier match but any notions that their South Leitrim neighbours, Cloone, would similarly be pushovers were banished immediately as the visitors tore into Leitir Mór from the off and raced into a four points to no-score lead after 10 minutes.

No, this was a different kettle of fish to the junior match and if Cloone had shown a bit more composure in front of goal, and if another minute was added on at the end, they would surely have at least earned a draw.

As it was, Leitir Mór mustered up their trademark never-say-die’ attitude when the game was in the melting pot and they just about survived and scraped into the final with a fairly ordinary performance.

In fairness to the Gaeltacht men, they were well on top in the second-half and totally dominated possession but a sterling defensive effort from Cloone meant Leitir Mór’s dominance wasn’t translated on the scoreboard.

Leitir Mór just couldn’t seem to put Cloone away and were hanging onto a perilous three-point lead when the Leitrim men woke up again nearing full-time. Full-forward Damien O’Donnell kick-started the revival and cut Leitir Mór’s advantage to just two points, raising a white flag with just one-minute of normal time remaining, Cloone’s first score since the 24th minute of the first half.

O’Donnell bottled it though in injury time and sent a relatively easy free well wide before Micheal Lohan narrowed the gap to just one point. That miss was to prove decisive.

The Galway champions were on the rack at this point, looked in disarray and the relief in the crowd was palpable when the final whistle was blown from the resulting kick-out – manager Ciarán Ó Fátharta knows had another play been allowed to develop, Cloone had the momentum and you wouldn’t have bet against them equalising.

The two minutes time added- on had expired however and Leitir Mór survived and probably deserved to, but they will be wondering this week how they kept Cloone scoreless for more than 35 minutes and yet were lucky not to be caught in the end.

Leitir Mór struggled to cope early on and only settled on 15 minutes when Daithi Mac Donnchadha landed their first score of the day with a close range free. The Connemara men were level minutes later when an absolutely visionary pass from Mac Donnchadha split open the Cloone defence and played Cormac Ó Conghaile into space. The wing forward thought about fisting a point before his killer instinct got the better of him and he drilled into the Cloone net.

Mac Donnchadha then gave Leitir Mór the lead for the first time but Cloone were back in front 1-2 to 1-5 minutes later when Donal Brennan pointed just before Adrian Nicholls raised a green flag, with a fisted effort after an initial save by keeper Eoghan Ó Conghaile, although there was a suspicion of a square ball in the follow-up.

The goal stood and Cloone were sitting pretty heading to the dressing room but Mac Donnchadha narrowed their lead to just one point with two more late frees before the break. Two Ferdia Breathnach points in quick succession immediately after the restart

put the Galway men back in front and Mac Donnchadha then stretched that lead further with another free and it was looking like Leitir Mór might coast home.

But the side captained by Fiachra Breathnach just couldn’t seem to drive home their advantage and only scored one more point, an effort from substitute Patrick Mark Ó Fátharta 13 minutes into the half which turned out to be the eventual winner.

It proved just enough to carry the day but Leitir Mór have plenty of room for improvement, particularly in the scoring department, if they are to make any impact in the final.

They were well served by Eoghan Ó Conghaile, Seosamh Seoighe, Ciaran Bairéad, Cristóir Ó Flatharta, Fiachra Breathnach, Cormac Ó Conghaile, and Daithi Mac Donnchadha.


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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