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Archive News

Fit-again players restored to hurling panel



Date Published: 26-Nov-2009

Galway hurling manager John McIntyre has pledged to “raise the bar” to reach the standards set by All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny and Tipperary next year after unveiling his 34-man panel for the 2010 campaign this week.

The panel shows a number of changes from the squad whose season came to an end when they were knocked out of the championship by Waterford in last July’s quarter-final and appears to confirm the end of the inter-county careers of some long-serving players.

Three players who represented the county in the 2001 and 2005 All-Ireland finals are not set to be part of Galway’s plans for the coming campaign, when the hurlers will be aiming to bring an end to a 22-year search for All-Ireland glory.

McIntyre confirmed this week that Galway would be planning for the new campaign without the long-serving Alan Kerins (Clarinbridge) and Fergal Healy (Craughwell), both of whom fielded in those September deciders against Tipperary and Cork at Croke Park.

In addition, David Tierney – who was Healy’s midfield partner in the 2005 defeat to Cork – had informed the team management of his decision to retire from inter-county hurling prior to the announcement of the new panel.

The departures of Kerins, Healy, and Tierney means that only two members of the starting line-up from the 2001 All Ireland final, Ollie Canning and Richie Murray, remain with the panel nine years on.

Others to be let go, who featured in the 2009 squad, include young Clarinbridge midfielder and county u-21 player Eoin Forde, and defenders Brian Costello of Abbeyknockmoy; Kinvara’s Ger Mahon, who was part of the panel for a number of years; and Kilconieron’s Martin Ryan.

Full-back Damien McClearn (Loughrea) had informed the selectors that he could not give the requisite commitment to the county cause, due to work and family commitments.

But Galway followers will be delighted to note the return to the fold of former captain David Collins, who has missed over two years of inter-county hurling since damaging an ankle in a Railway Cup game at Croke Park in October 2007.

The 2005 Young Hurler of the Year is currently in Australia, but the Liam Mellows wing back is due to rejoin the panel at the end of January, having already been given a weights training programme by the team management.

Also back from injury is Athenry defender Ciaran O’Donovan, who suffered a cruciate injury during the Railway Cup final defeat to Leinster in Abu Dhabi back in March, and Ardrahan attacker Iarla Tannian, who also missed most of the past year due to a cruciate injury.

The selectors have signalled a ‘changing of the guard’ with no less than nine new players being added to the panel, including former minor captain David Burke (St. Thomas’), Aiden Harte (Gort), Donal Barry (Castlegar), Pat Holland (Ardrahan), Niall Cahalan (Mullagh), and Eanna Ryan (Killimordaly).

A surprise addition to the panel, perhaps, is RahoonNewcastle defender Tony Og Regan, who featured regularly at full-back during Ger Loughnane’s two years at the helm of Galway hurling. Regan was excluded from the panel during McIntyre’s first year in charge.

Also making a recall is Mullagh centre back Conor Dervan, thanks to his impressive displays in the county championship, once his three month suspension – as a result of the controversial county semi-final against Loughrea – comes to an end in January.

McIntyre said that the management team met with the 2010 panel at the start of this month and gave the players their weight training programme ahead of the ban on inter-county training during the months of November and December.

Players are undergoing the weights programmes either individually or in small groups before the squad gets together early in the New Year.

“The panel is not a closed shop and, as we showed this year, the team management are very flexible in relation to moving out and moving in players,” said McIntyre.

“Naturally, it was extremely difficult to have to inform players who were released from the squad of the bad news, but the door is always open to the possibility of them being recalled, depending on their club form. I would like to thank these players for their commitment to the Galway cause since we took over.”

The Galway boss took encouragement from the recent meeting between the management and players at which plans for 2010 were drawn up. He was pleased by the positive mood within the 34-man panel.

“The tone of that meeting was that both the management and players have to raise the bar to bridge the gap between ourselves and the likes of Kilkenny and Tipperary,” he said.

McIntyre and his selectors had a reasonably successful first year in charge, beating both Clare and Cork in the All Ireland qualifiers after recovering from a shock League defeat to Dublin back in February, but lost out to Waterford by the narrowest of margins after conceding 1-2 without reply in the closing stages of a game they looked set to win at Semple Stadium.

The quarter-final defeat to Waterford, after Galway had led by four points with as many minutes to go, proved to be a shattering end to the season, but the wins over Cork and Clare had given the Tribesmen’s followers some hope that progress had been made ahead of the 2010 campaign.

Galway (panel): J. Skehill, C. Callanan, O. Canning, F. Moore, E. McEntee, D. Joyce, S. Kavanagh, J. Lee, E. Lynch, A. Cullinane, g. farragher, k. hynes, A. Coen, A. Callanan, A. Smith, k. hayes, C. Donnellan, N. healy, j. Canning, D. hayes, j. gantley, N. hayes, C. O’Donovan, I. Tannian, D. Collins, D. Burke, p. holland, E. Ryan, N. Cahalan, A. harte, C. Dervan, R. Murray, T. Og Regan, D. Barry.

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

Tatoo artists Stephen and Nancy make their point



Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

The Galway Bay Tattoo studio is far from the dingy and dirty dens often associated with bikers and heavy metal fans.

Located in Lower Fairhill on a corner, it is in fact, one of the nicest shop fronts in the city and is clean, airy and bright inside.

Opened three years ago, it is also an art gallery which not only displays the artwork of owners, Nancy Klein and Stephen Kennedy but that of their friends, a circle they have come to know since they arrived in Galway.

Nancy and Stephen are a couple who were attracted to Galway because of its creative and artistic reputation. They had both worked as tattoo artists in their respective native countries – Canada for Nancy and Australia for Stephen – and now say they have the “best clients” in Galway.

Both had travelled well before they met through mutual friends in Scotland eight years ago and yes, Nancy admits, “it was love at first sight. . . we were a couple by the next day”.

They are both mildly spoken and in their three years here they admit they have become friends with most of their customers!

Nancy says that some days, they just don’t get anything done as people stroll in one after the other for a chat. But you know by the way she says it that she doesn’t mind. They are both dedicated artists who eat, sleep and drink tattoos such is their obsession with their work.

“Yeah, I dreamed last night about a tattoo,” she says quietly to Stephen. Most nights they sit in and talk tattoos though sometimes they might go and see a band in any of the city venues.

They both have workbooks which catalogue their work. Stephen is into portraits of famous people and animals. These tattoos are major works, intricate in detail and can take hours to complete. A large work, like a sleeve, can take hours spread over a number of sessions.


Nancy says she gets tired on her feet, in her lower back and her eyes if she works for more than two hours at a time. “I also get hungry and I just cannot continue,” she says. But Stephen can work continuously for five hours without a break – that’s if a client can take it.

They both love what they do – that is obvious – and when not working on a live canvas, they sit in their office in the back drawing, sketching or painting. Some of their work is on permanent display in their gallery.

Stephen’s canvases show Johnny Cash and Elvis in lifelike images while Nancy’s artwork is more architectural, and equally intricate.

And while Stephen prefers big statements in his tattoo works such as portraits, Nancy’s work is more ethereal involving butterflies, flowers and fairies, though she too has big work under her belt and proudly shows her portfolio.

She does a lot of work on women, particularly on those wanting to cover up old tattoos or scars. Requests to cover up Caesarean Section scars are common, although she stresses that a scar has to have healed for at least three or four years before she will go near it.


They are both very much into hygiene and regulation though Stephen is amazed at how little their trade is regulated. Nancy hates the idea of cross-contamination and is meticulous when it comes to wearing sterile gloves.

They have a sterile container which is disposed of by bio-hazard specialists. They also have an age policy – strictly over 18 – though they know that not everyone in the industry is as conscientious.

“It is unusual that the tattoo artists in Galway get on so well. When we first came to Galway we worked for a year with a couple in the knowledge that we were always going to set up our own business,” says Stephen.

Apparently, the ink supplier often expresses his amazement at the camaraderie between the local tattoo artists saying it is not the case in Dublin or anywhere else.

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

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Archive News

Capacity entry for weekend’s Galway International Rally



Date Published: 30-Jan-2013

Galway Motor Club this week confirmed that there is a capacity entry of 115 teams for this year’s Safety Direct Galway International Rally, which takes place this weekend.

The event is the first in Galway to support The Gathering 2013 initiative bringing a welcome early season boost to visitor numbers to Galway City and County, with organisers saying the event is expected to generate more than 2,000 bed nights.

“Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochána, Fáilte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Safety Direct, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents of the route in the east of the county for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event,” said Victor Farrell, Clerk of the Course.

The event will have a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Saturday at 8pm, following afternoon scrutinising of cars at MotorPark, Terryland, from 2pm. These are ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.

Top seeds are last year’s winners and 2012 Tarmac Rally Champions, Darren Gass from Armagh, and co –driver Enda Sherry. He will be followed off the start ramp by Derek McGarrity from Belfast, triple British Rally Champion Keith Cronin from Cork and Garry Jennings from Enniskillen.

The highest seeded local crews are JJ Fleming from Salthill in his Ford Focus World Rally Car, co-driven by Robbie Ward from Loughrea at number 8; Tom Flaherty from Circular Road at 12 in his Escort Mk2; and Eamon Dervan from Loughrea at 18 also in an Escort; and Neil Pierce from Loughrea in a Honda at number 22.

Galway Entries in the Historic Car section include Ray Cunningham from Carnmore in a Mini Cooper, James Power from Loughrea in an Escort Mk1 and Pat Neville from Taylors Hill in a Volvo 142. The Galway competitors will be competing for the prestigious Brian Thornton Memorial Cup.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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