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Experienced Athenry advance to Junior Cup decider



Date Published: {J}

Athenry 2

Oranmore 1

WATCHING the action in Moanbaun on Sunday afternoon was like taking in a four act play as the respective sides enjoyed spells of total domination in their quest for a place in the Connacht Junior Cup Final.

The first and final quarters were all about Oranmore as they dominated proceedings firstly in their quest for a breakthrough and good start, while the closing stages were all about recovery as they trailed in the closing minutes.

In between, Athenry recovered after being outplayed on early and were the better side for the second and third sectors each side of the break. In that spell, they overcame an early deficit and scored twice to put themselves in the driving seat.

However for all the action and chances created throughout, the game will be remembered for Kieran Kilkelly’s top class penalty save just four minutes from time. The Athenry custodian dived to his right to push away Lonan O’Farrell’s spot kick and in that moment the game was won and lost.

Athenry have being around the block a long time and with such an experienced side, they generally just do about enough to win close games and it is this ability to carry themselves just about over the line that has seen them win so many honours over the past number of years.

The visitors certainly made their presence felt in the early exchanges and were awarded on 12 minutes when Dave Devlin headed home after Ollie Keogh and John Latchford provided the assists following a corner.

Athenry took some time to restore parity and two goals in the closing minutes of the half was to see them rewarded with a 2-1 interval advantage.

Another set piece goal created the equaliser as Emmett Byrne headed home at the far post following an Alan O’Donovan delivery and they made it 2-1 when O’Donovan was again the provider and Seamie Crowe applied the finish past Conor Leydon.

Oranmore threatened in the opening minute of the resumption when Willie Embuele got his head to a Keogh corner at close range, but his effort was too close to Kilkelly and his instinctive stop saved the equaliser.

The next twenty minutes or so were all about Athenry as O’Donovan, Mark Moran and Stephen Rabbitte threatened, while a Hughie O’Neill goal line clearance denied Byrne a second with another far post header.

Oranmore regained their sense of urgency after the hour mark and Shane Greally fired a free kick into the defensive wall, while O’Farrell set piece tested the fingers of Kilkelly. Ian Snee and O’Farrell were off target with efforts from outside the box.

A respite at the other end saw O’Donovan test Leydon with a free kick from outside the area, but it was a rare piece of action at the visitors end.

The awarding of a penalty on 86 minutes for a very gentle contact by Paddy Quinn on Ollie Keogh was questionable and following the protests, Kilkelly kept his composure by keeping out O’Farrell’swell struck effort.

The victory brought Athenry into their fourth Connacht Junior Cup final in five seasons and the defending champions will face either Ballinasloe Town or Hibernians, who meet in the Curragh Grounds on Sunday in the other semi final.

Athenry: Kilkelly, Rabbitte, Quinn, Kinneen, Byrne, O’Donovan, Delaney, Crowe, Forde, Moran, Murray (Mannion 72mins).

Oranmore: Leydon, Kelly O’Neill, Latchford, Embuele, Barrett, Greally (Snee 67mins), Rockall, O’Farrell, Keogh, Devlin.

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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