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Galway riders leave major mark on the Dublin Horse Show



Date Published: {J}

THRILLS and heartbreak coloured the mood of Connacht showjumpers at the recent Dublin Horse Show. Sixty-two horses and ponies from the region made their way there following endless rounds of qualifiers up and down the country.

On Day One, John McGuinness from Mohill qualified on the double for the 6-year-old Championship, riding Tara Cullen’s Cracker Camiro and Cathal Farrelly’s Farrelly’s Spirit.

Connacht’s 128 and 138 pony riders did not get any ribbons but Tim McDonagh from Craughwell (Imagine if One) and Cormac Hanley from Claremorris (Moy Dancer) qualified for the 148 Pony Championship. Also qualifying that day was John Enda Lee’s Westside Ranger ridden by Eoin McMahon. John Enda comes from Headford.

Day Two saw a great start for Olga Burke from Ardrahan who won the second qualifying leg of the 128 Championship, riding Simone Barry’s The Nut Cracker. Cian Melia from Galway, riding Kieran Hawkins’s Bungowla Bua, also put up an excellent performance when winning the first qualifying leg of the 5-year-old Championship, while Jason Sweeney from Ballina excelled himself by qualifying both his ponies, Cappuccino lV and Sakama Chezni, for the 138 Pony Championship.

The Third Day had an 8am start in the Main Arena for the previously-mentioned 138 Pony Championship where Jason Sweeney was Connacht’s sole representative. Unfortunately, he finished just out of the ribbons.

The 148 Pony Championship followed and Westside Ranger, ridden by Eoin McMahon, was placed fourth with Cormac Hanley (Moy Dancer) and Tim McDonagh (Imagine if One) finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Over in the Simmonscourt Arena, Claremorris’s Shane Goggins finished second with Gabriel Mullins’s Claddagh Cruise On, with Cathal McMunn (Beltra), riding Michael Culligan’s One Tim, comoing third in the 5-year-old Championship qualifier.

The second qualifier for the 4-year-old Championship saw the highest point-scoring horse being Codarco, a stallion by Darco, bred by Thomas O’Brien from Athenry and ridden by David O’Brien. The fifth highest scorer was Breda McMunn’s Flash Diamond ridden by Cathal McMunn.

The first Young Rider 1.10-metre qualifier was held on Day Three. Barry McCormack from Coolaney, riding Gerry McCormack’s Silver Tycoon, jumped spectacularly to finish in second place just 0.68 of a second off the winning time.

Michael Duffy (Turloughmore) saw his first win of the show when riding Kathryn Duffy’s Killard Horizon in the Young Riders 1.30 metre class. He was 1.26 seconds faster than his nearest rival.

In the Main Arena, immediately after the Aga Khan Nations Cup, Olga Burke prepared herself and The Nutcracker for the 128 Pony Championship. The course was big and strong and only four competitors jumped first-round clears. Just one fence denied, Olga her place in the jump-off, but no doubt she’ll be back next year.


Day Four and Shane Goggins, last to go in the jump-off of the 1.10 metre Young Riders’ qualifier on Kevin Satchwell’s Noddy Mountain, had a clear round in 30.92 seconds and finished in fifth place, thus qualifying for the Championship.

The Young Rider 1.20 metre class saw Cian Melia with a fast four-fault round also finish fifth. He rode FFS Spellbound. The ardour of the Connacht competitors was evident in the Young Riders 1.30metre Championship despite the rain which fell at the start of the class.

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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