Date Published: 29-Nov-2012
ONE of Gaelic football’s greatest forwards of modern times – Killererin’s Padraic Joyce – has this week officially confirmed his retirement from inter-county football, calling time on a career that has spanned three decades.
The three times All-Star winner made his last appearance for Galway in the All-Ireland qualifiers this Summer in Casement Park, when Antrim recorded a surprise success over Alan Mulholland’s side.
Joyce (35), will however be remembered as one of the greatest ever forwards to come out of Galway football, producing two classic attacking displays in the 1998 All-Ireland success against Kildare (1-14 to 1-10), when he scored 1-1, and in the 2001 defeat of Meath (0-17 to 0-8) when he landed 10 points.
That 2001 success was a special one for the Joyce family in that Padraic’s brother, Tommie, also lined out at corner forward on the team managed by John O’Mahony.
A product of the St. Jarlath’s College footballing academy, where he won a Hogan Cup medal in 1994 when defeating St. Patrick’s Maghera in the All-Ireland final, he went on to represent Galway at all levels.
He scooped All-Star awards in 1998, 2000 and 2001, and would probably have picked up at least a couple more, had Galway not entered one of their valley periods in terms of championship success over the past decade.
Texaco footballer of the year in 2001, when he ‘ran away’ with the top scorers accolade in that championship series, he also played 11 times with the Irish International Rules side against Australia, captaining them in 2004 and 2005.
First and foremost, Joyce was an absolutely dedicated club footballer, always ‘pushing out the boat’ to drive on Killererin to success in the Galway championships.
Joyce was a seminal figure in Killererin’s four county final successes in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2010 – this year he was the top scorer ‘by a country mile’ in the Galway senior football championship.
A complete ‘natural’ with the ball, Joyce complemented this talent with an absolute dedication to the game, that helped keep him as one of the country’s top forwards over the past 15 years.
He formed a great partnership and understanding with his former St. Jarlath’s colleague, Michael Donnellan – another of the game’s outstanding individual talents – through the late 1990s and for a good chunk of the following decade.
It is not clear whether Joyce will continue to play club football with Killererin, but the nephew of former Galway star, Billy Joyce, is expected to make up his mind on that issue early in the New Year.
A six times Connacht title winner – 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008 – he is one of the Galway forwards that will forever be mentioned in the same breath as a Sean Purcell, Frank Stockwell, John Keenan or Michael Donnellan.
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.