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Galway minor hurlers live up to star billing



Date Published: 01-Aug-2012

Galway 4-20

Wexford 2-11


A superb early blitz of scores laid the foundations for a comfortable victory as the Galway minor hurlers opened the defence of their All-Ireland title in spectacular style at O’Connor Park, Tullamore, on Saturday.

There were no signs of rustiness in the Galway ranks during the first half of a one-sided quarter-final in which no less than nine of the boys in maroon made an impact on the scoreboard.

Beaten Leinster finalists Wexford were taking part in their fifth championship game of the summer, but had no answer to the speed and accuracy of a fresh Galway side who led by 2-4 to 0-1 after just seven minutes and 2-12 to 0-2 with just over 20 minutes on the clock.


It was a dream start for Matt Murphy’s charges, who benefitted hugely from the experience of 2011 All-Ireland winners Paul Killeen and Sean Sweeney in the central defensive positions during that pulsating opening spell.

With wing back Shane Caulfield in superb form, hitting two sensational long-range scores after consistently battling for the ball, Galway’s dominance extended all over the field.

Wexford did try to stage a fight-back when they had the backing of the breeze, and scored 1-3 without reply just after the break, but it was too little, too late and Galway wing forward Adrian Morrissey’s superb goal effectively killed off the game as a contest with 19 minutes to go.


It was Morrissey, too, who opened the scoring after collecting a long delivery from Sweeney just two minutes into the game. Centre back Sweeney was the provider again when he set up a second score for corner forward Brian Molloy.

Some of Galway’s passing was a joy to behold. Four minutes in, midfielder Cathal Mannion intercepted a poor Wexford sideline cut and fed inside forward Ronan O’Meara, who provided a perfect ball for Darragh Dolan to set up the game’s opening goal for towering Gort full-forward Michael Mullins.

Ben O’Brien did manage to open Wexford’s account with a short-range point, but O’Meara landed a fine point over his shoulder and Dolan punished a poor Wexford clearance with another well-taken score. There were only seven minutes gone when a hand pass from Mullins saw Dolan unleash a superb strike to the net and, already, Wexford were in serious trouble.

With Caulfield, Sweeney, Killeen, and Darragh O’Donoghue winning out their individual battles in the Galway defence, and Mullins’ physical presence causing nightmares for the Leinster defence, a 35-metre Conor McDonnell free only provided a brief respite for Wexford.

Galway hit the next eight points in a row, including two superb long-range efforts from Caulfield, whose work rate on the wing was exceptional. Morrissey, Mullins, and 2011 survivor Jason Flynn hit three in a row before Brian Molloy landed a 55 metre free, following a foul on Flynn, after 16 minutes.

For more, read this week’s 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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