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Connacht swing back into Magners League action



Date Published: {J}

CONNACHT are back in Magners League action this Sunday when they take on the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium. The game kicks off at (5:00) and is live on welsh channel s4c which is available on sky.

This game marks the beginning of the final phase of this season which is jam packed. Connacht have nine games to play in the next ten weeks and if they reach the last four of the Challenge Cup, you can make that 11 in twelve.

The squad will be tested to the limit during this period but a cautious approach to selection with a view to preparing for the Challenge Cup quarter final in April could well backfire as the side will need some momentum coming into that game.

Four of the six games before the clash with Bourgoin are at home, meaning there is plenty of opportunities for Magners League points. The Dragons, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leinster (in the still to be re-arranged fixture) are all to travel west while Connacht’s other away game is at the RDS against Leinster.

Connacht will be boosted by the form of Gavin Duffy, John Muldoon, Sean Cronin, Ian Keatley, Fionn Carr and Keith Matthews for Ireland A in recent weeks. Duffy, in particular,excelled during his two games.

The Ospreys sit second in the Magners League and have reached the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup so even allowing for the absence of a number of their frontline Welsh internationals, this should end up with a home win.

Connemara climbing clear

Connemara secured a huge win in Division 3 on Saturday against mid-table Kildare side Barnhall to ease their relegation fears, and raise hopes that the coming months could see the club continue their recent upward curve and pull clear of relegation trouble.

The Clifden men fought back from 10-0 down in the first half to trail by just four at the break thanks to two Sean Joyce kicks, the second was from close to half way.

Joyce was on form with the boot and by the midway point of the second half he had Connemara two points in front with two more kicks. The momentum was very much with the home side, but there was still fight in Barnhall at that stage.

They finished the contest camped on the Connemara line and had no less than three drop goal attempts which went wide before a turnover at the base of a ruck was pounced on by David Keogh who hacked clear.

David Newman was quickest to the loose ball and kicked further ahead before collecting his own grubber on the bounce and sprinting to the corner for a try with the last play of the game. Cue old style celebrations.

The victory was badly needed and will lift spirits around the club. Mark Foyle was back to his very best in the centre alongside Newman. Young up and coming winger David McDonagh also caught the eye while the front row of Alan Bane, Kevin Barry and Emmett Ferron more than held their own.

For more, read page 46 of 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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