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Galway must seize the day against Cats

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Date Published: {J}

STEPHEN GLENNON

ONE way or the other, hurling history will be made in Croke Park on Sunday. A fascinating Leinster championship final brings together the province’s gatecrashers and the sport’s greatest team of all time. The huge interest in the fixture is understandable; quite simply, this is a game not to be missed.

The Walsh Cup and National League champions colliding with the All-Ireland champions who have been ruling summer hurling with an iron first since 2005 is a tantalising prospect. There will be no place to hide as Galway strive to knock down a team which many percieve as unbeatable.

With midfielder David Burke unluckily suspended for Sunday’s decider in Croke Park (4pm), together with genuine injury doubts about former team captain David Collins (calf) and Iarla Tannian (quad), Galway have several problems to contend with ahead of the final – not least the fact that this will be their third match in a fortnight – but team boss John McIntyre is adamant this week that there will be no excuses.

Tannian – who won two vital frees late on in the replay victory over Offaly – did not participate in Tuesday evening’s training session, while Collins, who was able to do the ball work drills despite recuperating from a calf injury, did not take part in the training game.

 

Also to sit out that training game were brothers Ollie and Joe Canning. Ollie has bruising on his left thigh, while Joe took a second knock to his injured hand in the replay against Offaly. “Both sat out the game as a precautionary measure,” outlined McIntyre.

Apart from the ineligible Burke, Craughwell sharpshooter Niall Healy, who picked up a severe hamstring injury in last Saturday evening’s Leinster semi-final replay, is also sidelined. He is expected to be out of action for at least a month.

Consequently, the Galway management team of McIntyre, John Hardiman, Joe Connolly and John Moylan will not be naming their starting XV until later in the week. “We just want to make sure that every player who is selected is 100% so they can do themselves justice,” said McIntyre.

Indeed, given Galway face a Kilkenny side that has not been beaten in championship hurling since the Tribesmen scalped them in the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final, every player must be able to perform to his maximum if the Westerners are to cause an upset.

“We all know what faces us on Sunday, the greatest hurling team of all time, but this is where we want to be, competing against the best,” stated the Galway boss. “It will probably take the game of our lives to carry the day, but you can be sure that is what the players will be primed for. Our approach is very focused on the challenge ahead.

“We do have injuries – David Collins and Iarla Tannian are touch and go – while David Burke’s suspension is another blow. It is also our third game in two weeks, but there will be no excuses. This is a test of the strength of the squad and whatever Galway team takes the field must hit the ground running at Croke Park on Sunday.”

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

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Archive News

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

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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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