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Galwegians and Corinthians swing into League action



Date Published: {J}

Rob Murphy

THE upcoming AIL season will be dramatic for more reasons than one. The AIL is re-structuring with ten teams to make up Division 1a and 1b respectively and 16 in a new look Division 2a and 2b for 2011. That means all sorts of changes for promotion and relegation

Galwegians and Buccaneers will compete in DIvision 1b again this year in what looks like been an incredibly difficult eight team league Clontarf and UL Bohs drop down to them, Bruff and Lansdowne (no less), are coming up. Every win will be precious.

The top two in 1b will be promoted to a new top tier, the third place side play off with bottom of 1a. So loads to play for. In terms of relegation, the good news is only the bottom side can go down and even then there is a play-off with the fifth placed side from Division 2.

The season starts in Limerick for the Sky blues with a daunting trip to UL Bohemians while Buccaneers will be up against it at home to Lansdowne.

First and foremost, however, the midlanders

must be just delighted to be still in the Division after the houndini act performed by team under the guidance of Dave Henshaw and Charlie Couper last year.

Corinthians had a great first season in Division 2 last time out. Mid table thanks in the main to a flying start which saw them take the scalp of Terenure, Bective and Old Crescent in their first four games.

Paul Flannagan and Sean Deignan are in charge this year and will be looking to build a team around the emerging talent at the club. The ambitious aim will be to secure a place in the top four and gain promotion to the new look ten-team Division 1b. It will take a huge commitment and some luck but it is a good goal to start with.

Joe Merrigan, Tom Tolan and Greg McGill are among the new faces, while Connacht squad members Shane Conneely and Eoin Griffin will be crucial to their campaign which starts at home to Ballynahinch on Saturday.

With no relegation from the AIL this year, the pressure is off Connemara from the outset after last season’s lower half of the table finish in Division 3. The coaching team is shaping up to be a three man ticket of Gerry King Jimmy Screene and Mark Foyle

They’ll have guts of last year’s team which competed well and pulled clear of trouble in the middle of the season. But word on the ground is that they are hoping to build a young side this year, starting this Saturday at home to City Of Derry.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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