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Galway can secure ninth minor title in a fascinating final

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

STEPHEN GLENNON

MATTIE Murphy and the Galway minor hurlers will be looking to embrace another All-Ireland final weekend when they face Dublin in an attractive national decider against Leinster champions, Dublin at Croke Park this Sunday (1:15pm).

In years to come, the powers-that-be may have to rename the Irish Press Cup – after all, the newspaper has been defunct for almost two decades – as the Mattie Murphy Cup, such has been the impact the Galway manager has had on this competition.

On Sunday, Murphy bids for a sixth title – Galway’s ninth – having guided the young Tribesmen to victory in 1992, ’94, 2004, ’05 and ’09. It is a remarkable record for the Turloughmore native, who has time and again, proved he has an innate ability to spot and nurture underage talent.

That said, Galway – having also claimed titles at this grade under Cyril Farrell in 1983 and John Hardiman in 1999 and 2000 – face one of their greatest challenges on Sunday when they clash with a Dublin outfit who sent pulses racing with their 6-19 to 5-13 victory over Waterford in the All-Ireland semi-final.

By half-time of that particular contest, the Dubs led 4-12 to 0-7. Cormac Costello tallied 2-2 in the opening period – he would finish with an incredible 4-2 – while Ciaran Kilkenny and Paul Winters also found the net in the team’s first-half scoring blitz.

Indeed, Dublin’s power, size, aerial prowess and first touch in the semi-final was nothing short of excellent and their total of 6-19 definitely bore testament to that.

Dublin, though, had been building up to such a display for quite a while. Having accounted for Wexford, 1-18 to 3-10, in their opening game in the Leinster championship, they then saw off Westmeath – who had a superb championship with wins over Carlow, Laois and Offaly – in the Leinster semi-final. Shay Boland’s charges won that penultimate provincial championship game 1-16 to 2-7, with substitute Oisín O’Rorke netting a vital 60th minute goal to secure their place in the Leinster decider against Kilkenny.

While there may have been just three points between the teams at the end of that subsequent encounter, Dublin, in truth, were always one step ahead of the Cats. That was mainly due to the proficiency of the lively Costello, who registered their only goal on 30 minutes, Emmet O Conghaile, Ciaran Kilkenny, Winters and O’Rorke.

The Waterford victory just served to underline the quality Dublin have in their side, and this was reflected in the scoring spread – Costello (4-2), Kilkenny (1-5), Winters (1-3), Glenn Whelan, O Conghaile, Aodhan Clabby (0-2 each), among others – in an exceptional 60 minutes of hurling.

But they have their weaknesses. When Waterford, whose defence was simply woeful in the opening period, ran at the Dubs in the second half, they enjoyed better fortunes and, indeed, went on to outscore their rivals by 5-6 to 2-7.

This should offer plenty of encouragement to Galway, who, although not playing to their maximum potential against Clare, still have a number of quality players who have the ability to turn a game on any given moment.

Fair enough, Galway’s half-forward unit struggled to make a scoring impact against Clare, with Jason Flynn, Jonathan Glynn, who worked tirelessly, and Adrian Tuohy not finding the target. One, though, has to believe that this was just a freak occurrence because in the Galway senior championship these three players have made a significant impact.

Tommie Larkins’ Flynn has amassed 10 points (six from play) in three games, while Ardrahan’s Jonathan Glynn and Beagh’s Adrian Tuohy have tallied 1-4 and 0-5 respectively from play already in the group stages of the local senior competition.

If Murphy and his backroom team of trainer Michael Haverty and selectors Michael Fogarty and Michael Flanagan keep their faith in this offensive selection when they announce the team later this week remains to be seen, but certainly there is a lot more in those three players.

 

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

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Archive News

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

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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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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