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Dejected Corofin hit out at referee Devenney

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: {J}

Dara Bradley

DEFEATED Corofin captain Kieran Fitzgerald lambasted Mayo referee, Liam Devenney, for his standard of officiating during the Connacht club football championship final at Kiltoom, on Sunday.

The Ballina official was “a disgrace to the association” blasted the former inter-county player, who blamed refereeing decisions – including ruling out what appeared to be a legitimate Corofin first-half goal by full-forward Mike Farragher – for his side’s 0-11 to 0-10 loss to Roscommon champions St Brigid’s.

The extraordinarily frank and critical comments came more than 20 minutes after the final whistle; the ugly scenes of abuse towards the referee had abated, and the victorious captain, Darragh Donnelly’s speech had long since finished.

Most of Corofin’s players and management team had retired to the sanctuary of the dressing room to lick their wounds but Fitzgerald was still out on the field of play, exchanging opinions with downtrodden Corofin fans.

No doubt they were poring over the injustice of some of the refereeing decisions that went against Corofin: it was a post-mortem with supporters that may have coloured – or even fuelled – what Fitzgerald subsequently said in an interview to Tribune Sport and Galway Bay FM.

The 30-year-old let the official have it with both barrels. Hands on his hips, the full-back looked absolutely bewildered to have lost. Fitzgerald was smiling as he spoke but it was an ironic smile, one of incredulity and disbelief that refereeing decisions had cost him another Connacht medal, and another crack at an All-Ireland.

He shook his head in disbelief as he spoke, and occasionally threw his eyes up to the sky, as if to ask God how he could have let this happen, and said: “Disappointment is an understatement, to be honest with you – the referee was a disgrace to the association today in my opinion. We are bitterly disappointed, we worked so hard and I know Brigid’s did as well but, at the end of the day, all you want is a bit of fair play. I know this sounds like sour grapes but I’m bitterly disappointed in the referee today.

“It (disallowed goal) looked legitimate to me. It looked like a good goal. The referee was running in and had his arm out for a square ball before the ball was even gone in. It looked legitimate, I haven’t seen the video yet and I could be wrong but it looked legitimate.

“We’re bitterly disappointed. Fair dues to Brigid’s and best of look to them in the quarter-final in two week’s time. They’re a Connacht team and we hope they go all the way . . . but when you’re playing a game to this level and when you’re putting in so much work at the end of the day you expect a bit of fair play and I feel myself, as captain of Corofin, we didn’t get that today.”

A spokesperson for the Connacht GAA Council said it would await the receipt of Devenney’s referee’s report before taking any action in relation to the pitch invasion at the final whistle.

The match referee was abused by Corofin supporters who poured onto the field at the final whistle, seething at several controversial decisions that went against the Galway champions.

Fitzgerald’s comments about Devenney’s handling of the match may have been accurate but the scenes that followed the final whistle and overshadowed what went before were equally as disgraceful: Devenney was surrounded by a mob of Corofin supporters, baying for blood as proceedings boiled over.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



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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