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Fit-again players restored to hurling panel

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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

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Archive News

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

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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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