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GillÕs free snatches it for Galway



Date Published: {J}

Galway 1-8

Wexford 0-10

Eoghan Cormican

In Athenry

A DRAMATIC goal four minutes into injury time from substitute Jessica Gill snatched a precious All Ireland senior camogie championship win for the Tribeswomen in this tight and tense encounter at Athenry on Saturday.

Just when Wexford appeared set to return to the South East having taken maximum points from Kenny Park, they were rocked back on their heels in amazing fashion.

A foul on midfielder Orla Kilkenny yielded a free approximately 80 yards out from goal and when substitute Jessica Gill stood over the free few would have predicted the Athenry ace would find the net.

Yet that is exactly what she did. It was by no means however, a smash and grab victory from Noel Finn’s charges. The score was just reward for a mammoth second half effort where Galway dominated in almost every sector, bar the scoreboard.

Unquestionably the Galway team of 2010 is beginning to take shape. A side of character and steel and style is emerging. They showed it all in Athenry on Saturday.

Galway’s fourth championship triumph over Wexford in three seasons is attributed to a ferocious work ethic, dogged determination and a superb defensive effort that limited the league champions to just three points from play over the hour.

Most encouragingly this settling Galway outfit has now produced two consecutive performances of substance in a period of eight days. While the scalp of Tipperary was crucial to put one foot in the semi-final, mentally, the Wexford encounter was of immense importance.

Galway desperately needed to overcome one of the big three – Cork, Kilkenny and Wexford – to throw down the gauntlet as to their championship ambitions. For too often, this side has been the bridesmaid in heavyweight camogie clashes.

Athenry All-Star Regina Glynn, revelling on her home turf, was central to a frugal Galway defence, that for large periods of the game, suffocated the life out of a potent Wexford attack. Ann Marie Hayes delivered another wholehearted performance in the number six jersey, while Sinead Keane, replacing the injured Lorraine Ryan, dealt adequately with the threat of Wexford’s Katrina Parrock.

Behind them, the full back line despite a nervy opening, soon came to grips with Wexford’s most dangerous unit. Sandra Tannian was outstanding at corner back, holding the ever influential Una Lacey scoreless.

Encapsulating the closeness of the tie is the fact that the sides were level on five occasions during the first half. Aislinn Connolly (free) opened Galway’s account in the second minute. Subsequently, Katrina Parrock, who tore the Galway defence to shreds in the league meeting, registered Wexford’s first point rounding Sinead Keane with consummate ease.

Aislinn Connolly tagged on a second point before Ursula Jacob sniped a pair of frees to place the Model County in the ascendancy. Connolly and the lively Lenny Holohan traded efforts and when Regina Glynn was fouled after clearing her lines, Connolly levelled matters on 22 minutes.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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