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Galway plea to fans – make the sixteenth man count against Tipp

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 30-Mar-2011

GALWAY’S team management and players have made an impassioned plea for the county’s supporters to come out in force as the reigning National Hurling League holders face All-Ireland champions Tipperary in a pivotal NHL fixture at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (2:30pm).

Unlike last weekend’s dour struggle against Dublin, which saw Galway steal a 2-11 to 0-14 victory following an injury-time goal from Eanna Ryan, this weekend’s showdown between the respective champions could be a thriller, according to Galway captain Damien Joyce.

“Every game is going to be different,” says Joyce. “This weekend’s game against Tipperary could be totally different (from last Sunday’s). It could be open, free-flowing, with a big score; where against Dublin it was tight and we had to grind out the result.

“It is good, though, that we are able to win a tight game. That is awfully important because you will probably have plenty of tight games as you go through the season. I suppose, again, every game is kind of different. In some games, it goes in ‘fits and starts’ and you have to be able to play in those games and do well in those. Other games are wide open and you have to be able to do as good in those as well.”

However, no matter what the nature of Sunday’s clash is, Joyce hopes Galway supporters will turn out in force for the Tribesmen’s last competitive home game of the season.

“Hopefully they will. After all, the All-Ireland champions are coming up to Pearse Stadium and, if it is a smashing day, it should be a game to really look forward to. So, hopefully, there will be a good crowd there. And, hopefully, we can put up a good show there as well.”

Galway manager John McIntyre has also called for supporters to come out in force for the attractive league fixture. “I am issuing an appeal for fans to turn up and rally behind the team on Sunday. It’s the last opportunity to see the Galway hurlers at home this year.

“The All-Ireland champions are rolling into town and it’s also a chance to see the best team of 2010. The counties served up a thrilling All-Ireland quarter-final last year and the stakes are still high for both teams in the National League,” said the Galway boss, who has yet to record a win over his native county in his time in charge.

Aside from the litany of long-term absentees through injury, Galway have now lost corner back David Collins who only lasted four minutes of the Dublin game after picking up a nasty leg injury that required six stitches. The Mellows clubman has been ruled out of action for at least ten days.

Defender Adrian Cullinane and midfield duo Ger Farragher and David Burke all carried leg injuries into that game, but McIntyre is optimistic that they will all be fit and in contention for starting places come Sunday.

His squad will also be boosted by the return of Clarinbridge pair Barry Daly and Eoin Forde, both of whom return to duty following their St. Patrick’s Day heroics in the All-Ireland Club decider against O’Loughlin Gaels of Kilkenny, while Iarla Tannian is also in contention after returning from a family wedding in the United States of America last weekend.

See Connacht Tribune sport for full preview.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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Archive News

A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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