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Creavin becomes first Galway athlete to win Boys’ Junior schools title



Date Published: {J}

Padraic Creaven of St Mary’s College in Galway City produced one of the finest cross country performances by a Galway juvenile by winning the Aviva All-Ireland Schools championships on his own school grounds last Saturday.

The Junior title had never before been won by a Galway athlete, but if he felt pressure in wearing the number 1 on his singlet, Creaven gave no indication as he controlled the race from start to finish with a masterful display of front running.

By the last lap he was 16 seconds clear of nearest challengers Cathal Doyle (Colaiste Choilm, Swords) and Jack O’Leary (Clongowes). Creaven was cheered on by a large home crowd, which included many greats of Galway running including former European Silver medallist Paul Donovan, former national Cross Country champion Paul McNamara and current Olympic hopeful Gary Thornton among others.

The presentation College Athenry also had an excellent result in the minor girls event, taking an historic bronze. They were led home by Shannon Lee in 19th position, followed by Eimer Keane in 28th and Grainne McDaid in 37th, who just pipped her teammate Niamh Keane who finished in 38th.

Another notable performance came from Oranmore and Craughwell AC teammates Matthew Barrett and Oisin Doyle who finished 18th and 19th in the Minor boys event.

Talented Conor Gillen of Athenry VS bravely went with the leaders for the first half of his 4.5k Intermediate boys event. It didn’t work out for him on this occasion as he faded, but still held on to finish in 24th overall. Hazel Kilkelly of Presentation Athenry had a similar run, finishing in 23rd in the Senior girls event.

In international action, Craughwell AC sent a large squad over to Glasgow to compete in the Scottish National Indoors recently, with a total of 17 athletes competing. Highlights of day 2 were the pair of gold medals won by Aisling Keady-Cummins in the U14 girls high jump and by Ciara Greene in the U16 girls 1500m.

The highlight performance of the first day came from Conor Gillen who took silver in the 1,500m in a time of 4:27. Some other standout performances included Nicholas Sheehan scoring two 800m personal bests of 2:04 and 2:02 within a couple of hours of each other, finishing a close 4th in the final; Maria McNamara recording a club record for the 400m of 62s; Damien O’Boyle recorded a new club 400m record of 58.26; Sinead Treacy also broke the club record for the 60m in 8:16; and Tara Mcnally did likewise in the 200m in 27:25.

The indoor action moved closer to home last weekend as the Connacht Indoors took place in Nenagh. At the time of publication the full results are not published from the event, but there were some excellent performances from Galway athletes – full details of which will appear in next week’s report.

In road running, a good day in the Beagh/Shanaglish area on Sunday with the third running of their 10K road race, now renamed the Martin Egan Memorial 10K Road Race. Margaret Walsh – organising her second race in a little under a month – and her band of helpers from the local area and her home club, South Galway, put on a fine show for visitors and locals alike.

More than 100 toed the line around a pan-handled course. Michael Shannon (Kilnaboy) and Michelle Lynch (GCH) were the two senior winners, who were presented their trophies by Brian Bell, who ran with Martin Egan in his Irish four mile record-breaking run in Dundalk in 1946.

This coming Sunday, Galway’s finest distance runners will descend on Craughwell for the Galway AAI 10-mile road race championship. Current team champions GCH will be hoping to retain their title and few would bet against them.

For more, read 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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