Date Published: 29-Oct-2009
THE starting price of 1/7 said it all. Nobody could ever remember a horse being sent off at such prohibitive odds at a Galway race meeting before, but Dunguib more than justified the bookmakers’ miserly SP when making his eagerly awaited jumping debut at Ballybrit on Sunday.
Last season’s undisputed bumper king returned to a rousing reception on the first day of the Galway October meeting after easily landing the CCTV Venue Control Maiden Hurdle for the Philip Fenton
stable in the style of a proverbial good thing.
Dunguib’s official victory margin may have been only four lengths, but the six-year old hardly came off the bridle on the heavy ground in putting his rivals, including runner-up An Toileanach, to the sword. Jockey Brian O’Connell never had a moment’s worry and his charge will be stepped up in class now.
Already the strong ante post favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham next March, Dunguib’s presence in Galway was a big boost for the track and there was a general feeling among the crowd of watching a future National Hunt star in the unsaddling enclosure.
The action kicked off in Ballybrit with the Corrib Oil Sean Cleary Memorial Auction Race and it was an event dominated by the market leaders, Rudi Valentino and eventual winner, Reggae Rock, as Johnny Murtagh edged further ahead of Pat Smullen in the chase for champion flat jockey. The two had the race between themselves from a long way out and it was only in the final 100 yards that the Ger Lyons 2/1 favourite asserted.
Course winner Hampshire looked home and hosed in the Dental Care Handicap when stretching clear at the bottom of the straight, but Fran Berry’s mount really started treading water in the final furlong as 8/1 chance Packsapunch came from the clouds to grab an unlikely victory.
The John Oxx trained Noble Galileo, a winner at the summer festival, showed plenty of resolution in holding off the challenge of cross-channel raider Citizenship in the Renvyle House Hotel Handicap. Well backed favourite Mosstown was beaten a long way from home.
Let Yourself Go was all the rage to complete a four-timer in the Barna Waste Ballybrit Novice Chase, but Adrian Maguire’s habitual front-runner began to send out the distress signals after jumping the last, leaving Tom Mullins’ Fosters Cross to make an impressive debut over the larger obstacles.
The Edward O’Grady yard is currently enjoying a great run and on the same day that he completed a long priced double in Wexford, the Tipperary handler was also successful in Galway when 13/2 chance Judge Roy Bean stayed on strongly to collar outsider On Your Way in the Sanserv Handicap Hurdle.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.