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Craughwell boys stun holders



Date Published: 12-Dec-2012

Craughwell 2-14

St. Thomas’ 2-11

Alan Dooley in Athenry

A devastating late scoring burst at the end of a titanic battle saw Craughwell deservedly claim their fourth U-21 A hurling crown at the expense of title holders St. Thomas’ at Kenny Park, Athenry on Sunday. A quickfire brace of goals from Michael Farrell gave Craughwell a decisive lead that not even Conor Cooney’s injury time salvo could overturn.

Cooney blasted two frees to the net to leave just a score between the sides, but the damage had been done to St. Thomas’ chances ten minutes earlier. A contest that was remarkable for the intensity and application of both sides was turning into a duel of the free-takers as Craughwell’s Keelan Cullinane and St. Thomas’ Cooney were the only scorers for 20 minutes of the second half.

A 48th minute effort from Cooney left just the minimum between the sides, and with darkness descending, a replay looked to be the most obvious outcome. But Craughwell had other notions, and when they won a throw in 35 metres from the Thomas’ goal, Cullinane fed corner forward Farrell who had ghosted beyond the cover. The net billowed, the Craughwell fans were in full voice, and the game began to slip away from the reigning champions.

Within three minutes Farrell had repeated the trick, profiting from excellent work by full forward Jamie Ryan to once more fire passed goalkeeper Patrick Skehill, who would have done well to pick out the rocket in the gloom. Craughwell sensed victory was close at hand and added three further points in quick succession to leave a shell-shocked St. Thomas’ side, now nine points adrift, with a mountain to climb.

As Craughwell dropped bodies back, in the hope of protecting Colin Rooney’s goal, they allowed St. Thomas’ pick up enough possession to pepper their forwards with searching deliveries. Twice a raiding forward was dragged to the ground in what must have felt like a never-ending period of injury time for the Craughwell faithful, and twice Conor Cooney rifled through a phalanx of bodies from the 20 metre line, but time caught up with the Thomas’ challenge and the glory was all Craughwell’s.

It was a stunning victory for the underdogs, whose last competitive outing was 34 weeks previously, and is a testament to manager Fergal Healy’s ability to have them raring to go after such a long wait for action. This win was built on a doggedness and determination from front to back to close down the space that St. Thomas’ love to operate in, epitomised by their captain Cathal Greaney and the livewire midfielder Shane Dolan.

Dolan’s energy and workrate were infectious and he got Craughwell off the mark with a peach of a point in the sixth minute. By that stage St. Thomas’ had already engineered two scores of their own through Michael Gleese and Conor Cooney, all of the scores coming from play on an as ideal a day as you can get for hurling in the second weekend of December.

Unfortunately, there were amazingly only four further scores from open play in the game, but this did not detract from the spectacle that kept the large crowd enthralled throughout. A long range Darragh Burke free edged Thomas’ back two in front, but Keelan Cullinane’s first placed ball was on target shortly after for Craughwell.

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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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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