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Determined Dolphin punish ‘Wegians errors



Date Published: 01-Dec-2009

GALWEGIANS’ quest for Cup glory ended for another year when they were outgunned by a powerful Dolphin side in Sunday’s rescheduled AIB Cup quarter-final at Musgrave Park, which had been put back by a week because of the inclement weather.

Wegians came into this game in confident mood, having impressed in their recent home victory against Division 1b leaders Old Belvedere. But although playing with the advantage of a first-half breeze, they never really hit their stride and made too many errors against the Cork outfit who have been in impressive form in Division 1a.

The Blues suffered a blow when they lost winger Mark Butler to a shoulder injury, and they went behind just before the half-hour mark when the hosts opened the scoring.

It came after the Blues failed to find touch, and Dolphin centre Eric Maloney went on a charging run which ended with Munster and Kiwi back-rower Nick Williams sending his back-row colleague Barry O’Mahony over for a try. Dolphin’s prolific out-half Barry Keeshan landed the conversion.

Just before half-time Wegians opened their account through a penalty from centre Dave Clarke to reduce arrears to 7-3.

However, any hopes that Wegians had of this being a springboard were soon dashed,as the game was effectively settled within minutes of the restart. First Keeshan cancelled out Clarke’s score with a penalty of his own, and on 47 minutes the Leesiders struck a decisive blow with their second try.

Winger Paul Hurley started the attack making ground inside the Wegians 22, and the influential Williams continued the move, combining with O’Mahony to send in right winger Niall O’Driscoll to dot down. Keeshan landed another conversion to stretch the advantage to 17-3 and put the home side firmly in command.

But Wegians refused to throw in the towel, and they went on to dominate much of the remainder of the game, camped deep in opposition territory for prolonged periods. They met a determined and disciplined Dolphin rearguard who were in no mood to concede points.

Wegians’ full-back Liam Bibo almost made the breakthrough before being called back for a forward pass and, with time running out, the Blues were finally rewarded when substitute prop Ronan Loughney crashed over under the posts for a try.

Clarke added the conversion to bring the visitors within a score at 17-10 and give themselves a lifeline. However any late Dolphin nerves were soon settled when they scored almost from the restart. This time it was Williams who finished off when he powered over from close range, and Keeshan’s conversion restored a 14-point advantage to make sure of victory.

And so it is the Cork side who progress to the semi-final where they will battle it out with Garryowen on December 19th. And although they will be disappointed with the outcome and some aspects of their performance, this outing against top-class opposition should stand Wegians in good stead, as they resume AIB League duty this Saturday away to Ballymena.

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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