Date Published: 03-Jan-2008
TWENTY ONE of the county’s top sporting personalities will be honoured for their achievements over the past 12 months at the 43rd annual Bank of Scotland Co. Galway Sports Stars awards banquet in the Ardilaun Hotel on Saturday night, January 19th.
They will be joined by Hall of Fame recipient Joe Young, a former dual inter-county star who won an All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway in 1956, and Special Dedication award winner, Breda Power, who has been at the heart of the local Community Games movement for nearly three decades.
It will be a special night too for four members of the Galway minor football team who will be picking up awards — inspirational captain Paul Conroy will be receiving the Team of the Year accolade on behalf of this all-conquering squad, Michael Martin is being honoured as the Footballer of the Year, while the versatile John O’Brien (Rugby) and footballer/boxer Antoine Ó Gríofa (Special Achievement) are being feted as well.
Completing what should be a wonderful evening of celebration for the minor footballers, team boss Alan Mulholland will be presented with the Manager of the Year award after guiding the squad to a memorable All-Ireland triumph.
Rising Galway star and U-21 All-Ireland medal winner, John Lee, has been chosen as the Hurler of the Year, with West of Ireland Amateur champion, Joe Lyons, a member of Galway GC, having his outstanding success recognised with the Golfing award.
Another highlight of the presentation banquet will be the honouring of the Maree Basketball Club, a burgeoning force in the sport, with the Club of the Year award, while PJ Fahy, the breeder and owner of Irish Derby winner, Tyrur Rhino, has ensured that Greyhound Racing is back in the Sports Stars spotlight for the first time since 1984.
Previous award winners who are again being recognised for their sporting endeavours are Ballinasloe’s Ciara Farrell, who will be collecting the Swimming award for the fourth time, while Athenry’s Paul Hession, the fastest ever Irish man, is going one better with his fifth Sports Star for Athletics. Rowing award winners, Alan Martin and Cormac Folan, who have qualified for next year’s Olympic Games, are also no strangers to having their exploits recognised, with Frank Byrnes (Motor Sport), Michelle Fahy (Basketball), Niamh Fahey (Ladies Soccer), and John Rooney (Racquets) previous award recipients too.
Joining the honours list for the first time are Point-to-Point champion jockey Derek O’Connor (Horse Racing), Jessica Gill (Camogie), Vincent Muldoon (Snooker), and Galway United’s Derek O’Brien (Soccer), while last year’s kickboxing award winner, Brian Brosnan, takes the Boxing accolade on this occasion.
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.