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Galway – ‘ye don’t scare us’



Date Published: 02-Jun-2010

TWO well seasoned Kilkenny supporters leaving Nowlan Park last Saturday evening captured the mood of a slightly strange Leinster quarter-final in a droll piece of conversation.

One of them put Wexford into the category of ‘hard triers but they have no forwards’ while his mate looked him in the eye before summing up Galway.

“They’re not bad, but jaysus there’s nothing to be frightened about,” and then the conversation wandered back to Kilkenny, a mention of the five-in-a-row and whether any new players would make the breakthrough with Brian Cody.

They disappeared into the evening with nothing else on their agenda only the Kilkenny dream of making history this year . . . and if Galway’s chances of winning the All-Ireland were to be measured exclusively on last Saturday’s evening display, the chances of Liam McCarthy coming west this September would be slim.

Championships though aren’t static phenomenons . . . teams evolve through the course of a season . . . bigger days can bring bigger displays and last Sunday morning, the Galway squad will have been quietly satisfied with their achievement.

Yes, their attack coughed and spluttered their way through the 70 minutes and for one critical, but short, segment of the second half, Galway allowed Wexford to sneak back into contention, but yet the maroon finish was strong and the outcome was decided a good 10 minutes before the end.

There’s a bit of steel and confidence in the Galway gait this year. Wins in the Walsh Cup and National League have given them a scent of blood and the baggage of some nagging hurling lore, like never having beaten Cork in a final, has been put to bed.

Wexford also presented something of an historical challenge to Galway in terms of never having beaten the Leinster side in championship hurling . . . maybe all pretty meaningless stuff in the context of John Sexton firing the sliotar into the ash thicket at 7 o clock last Saturday evening, but still notable little notches on the stick of John McIntyre’s side.

At the same venue three years ago in a National League quarter-final, Wexford outgunned Galway by 1-16 to 0-14. Seven players who tasted action last Saturday evening — Shane Kavanagh, John Lee, David Collins, Iarla Tannian, Ger Farragher and Tony Óg Regan — also hurled that day. They know that they’re in a different place now.

Kilkenny may be the kings but there are some serious pretenders to the throne. Tipperary made a stern case for future glory with a tremendous All-Ireland display last year but seem to have got stuck in a ’09 time warp . . . Cork burst back into the main bill with a powerful display last Sunday on home soil . . . while Galway fairly outgunned Denis Walsh’s side in the league final shootout.

For more of Frank Farragher’s see page 56 of this week’s Connacht Tribune

Full Match report – Page 55

• ‘Galway camp content’ – Page 54

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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