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Galway coaches to benefit from initiative



Date Published: 28-Jan-2010

A 12-week evening GAA coaching course – which hopes to standardise the method of tutoring coaches – has got underway at Galway Community College, which, coincidentally, has been chosen by the GAA as its first Centre of Excellence for Coaching in Ireland.

With the GAA endeavouring to standardise their coaching programmes nationwide, the new course breaks new grounds in that it not only encompasses both the Foundation Level and Level 1 programmes, but it also seeks to ensure that GAA coaching practices are universally taught and adhered to. On completion of the course, participants will have an Award One, which is the equivalent of Level 1.

Speaking, first, on the Moneenageisha college becoming a flagship for coaching in Ireland, its Director of Adult Education, Jeffrey Lynskey says: “Galway Community College has been approved to be a Centre of Excellence for the GAA, in conjunction with Connacht Council and the support of John Tobin and Damien Coleman, Galway VEC and Galway Community College, itself.

“So, we are now a Centre of Excellence for the GAA in coaching. We are a provider. We are the only one in Connacht; indeed, the first provider in Ireland. Basically, we have everything you need here to run a course like this. We have the equipment, the facilities, the whole lot.”

The response to the new GAA coaching course has been impressive, with almost 60 registering for the programme. “There has been great interest, with people travelling from as far as Clare, Mayo and Roscommon while we also have people from my own club Liam Mellows, Barna-Furbo, Salthill/Knocknacarra, Leitrim/Kilnadeema and from clubs in North Galway, such as Tuam Stars.”

The initiative – which aims to revamp the whole structure of tutoring coaches – is a fundamental element of the GAA Strategic Plan 2015. The GAA hopes that anyone involved in coaching a team will have at least an Award One qualification in the not-too-distant future. “The reason for that is that they want to improve the level of coaching,” adds Lynskey.

Director of Hurling in Connacht and course tutor Damien Coleman outlines that the Award One course, itself, begins with the Introductory Award programme (or Foundation Level), with participants then moving on to Award One. While Award

One is the equivalent of Level 1, the fundamental difference between the two is that there are three streams to Award One – namely child, youth and adult coaching.

“Nationally, there is a new coaching education programme being rolled out through the Coaching and Games Development Committee,” explains Coleman.

Galway Community College career guidance teacher and hurling tutor, Shane McClearn takes up the story: “The course we are running at the moment is specifically aimed at youth and adult level, although we will also cover the code of best practice for children in sport as well.

No doubt, though, the links Galway Community College has forged with the GAA should ensure that course places at the centre of education are well sought after in the months and years to come. “It is great for us to be endorsed by the GAA; that we can use the GAA logo in our prospectus and in conjunction with our evening classes,” concludes Lynskey.


A more complete report appears on page 52 of the print edition of the Connacht Tribune


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

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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.

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