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Corofin men rally from poor start to book final spot



Date Published: {J}

Corofin (Galway) 1-11

Ballintubber (Mayo) 2-7

Declan Tierney at McHale Park

COROFIN football comes in many disguises. It can be defensively tedious and methodical resulting in low scoring games or it can be blitzkrieg stuff culminating in good open football or a mixture of both as they displayed at McHale Park, Castlebar when they eventually saw off the stubborn challenge posed by Mayo champions, Ballintubber.

No matter what, Corofin do not give their supporters an easy time of it. There were times when the recently crowned Galway champions looked a spent force, then took firm control before holding out for a one point victory in a match that had been reduced to a pedestrian pace.

It was a game of contrasting fortunes for Corofin in that they were six points behind after 11 minutes, but still retired at half-time with a four points advantage. In the end, they had to survive a failed goal effort from Ballintubber to stumble into the Connacht Club final against St. Brigid’s of Roscommon on Sunday week.

To the Galway title holders credit, they responded well from going so far behind at an early stage with their complete dominance of the game in the second quarter critical to the eventual outcome.


It was completely different to their county final victory over Tuam Stars the previous week as Corofin looked slow and sluggish in the early stages. There were times when Ballintubber threatened to over-run them as they went four points to nothing up in the first 10 minutes.

Corofin were playing aimless balls out to the wings and were caught for pace on many occasions and when young Mayo ace, Cillian O’Connor netted from possession squandered by Damien Burke, the alarm bells started ringing in earnest . . . and with just cause.

The North Galway side were 1-4 to 0-1 down at this point – Alan O’Donovan pointing from a free – and they looked in dire trouble but their transformation was as amazing as it was lethal.

Corofin were back playing direct football, using their midfield dominance to their benefit and popping scores over to reduce the deficit. An O’Donovan free after Damien Burke was fouled started the ball rolling and this was followed by a move involving the hugely influential Daithi Burke and Kieran Comer before Gary Sice neatly slotted over from play.

This was the Corofin that made it one of the most memorable county finals in years and now they were displaying their immense attacking talents in the home of Mayo football as Michael Lundy and Alan O’Donovan eventually equalised – despite this pair and Michael Comer having missed scoring opportunities earlier.

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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