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Galway’s mixed bag still enough to win the day



Date Published: {J}

Galway 4-15

Waterford 1-15

Stephen Glennon

at Pearse Stadium

THERE may be a certain amount of shadow boxing in the National Hurling League this time of the year but, that aside, Galway look to be an outfit intent on making as many succinct statements as possible in these budding months of Spring.

Although shorn of their club-tied Portumna contingent, the Tribesmen are still a potent side, underlined by the impressive tallies they have posted in both the Walsh Cup and National League to date. In Pearse Stadium on Sunday, they hit another 4-15, with the full-forward line alone contributing 3-7 of that total.

Both Ardrahan’s Iarla Tannian and Craughwell’s Niall Healy were restored to the Galway attack after periods on the treatment table for Sunday’s tie. While the two corner forwards still have work to do, particularly on their fitness levels, they showed just how potent they can be on any given day, with Tannian tallying 2-2 and Healy registering 1-1.

Indeed, Galway manager John McIntyre will be delighted with the spread of scorers against the Deise. Joe Gantley, who had a cracking Walsh Cup campaign, but was somewhat subdued against Limerick in the county’s NHL opener, had a fine game again in the full-forward berth, scoring four points from play.

Also chipping in over the 70 minutes, midfielders Ger Farragher and Niall Cahalan and wing-forward Aidan Harte – with a neat total of 1-1 – all scribed their names on the score sheet, while left-half back David Collins marked his first start in two and a half years with a splendid second half point.

Overall, there was plenty of positives … fine individual performances, a good work-rate, a neat balance to the side and, of course, the securing of the two League points on offer. That said, the management and players will not be consumed or blinkered by these pluses, and it is more likely that they will focus on the areas they most need to improve on for the trip to Tipp on March 14.

Certainly, after building up a seven-point lead in the first quarter, questions will be asked why Galway failed to score then for the latter 20 minutes of the opening period while, in contrast, the visitors rattled off 1-6 without reply to lead 1-8 to 2-3 at the break.

Yes, Waterford were backed by the sea breeze but, not for the first time, Galway inexplicably lost their grip on a game that they owned. Given it was a lapse such as this that cost them against Kilkenny and Waterford in the Leinster and All-Ireland campaigns last season, Galway have to address this issue, sooner rather than later.

In any event, Galway did recover from that shaky period and they came out in the second half all guns blazing, outscoring Davy Fitzgerald’s charges by an incredible 2-12 to 0-7. Indeed, in the third quarter alone, they totally blitzed their opponents by clocking up a breathtaking 2-10. It was some tally for 18 minutes’ of fervent hurling. Waterford, in turn, could only manage two points through midfielder Richie Foley and freetaker Maurice Shanahan in this time.

Maybe Galway had learned from the lessons from the first half, when after taking a commanding lead they utterly failed to push home their advantage. In 12 seconds flat, Niall Healy had the sliotar in Adrian Power’s net, after an Aonghus Callanan delivery was fielded by Gantley, who laid off possession neatly to the raiding Healy.

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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