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Go Native’s fatal injury stuns local syndicate



Date Published: 28-Nov-2012

John McIntyre

THE Galway connections of high class hurdler Go Native are still reeling after the popular nine-year-old suffered a fatal injury on the gallops at Noel Meade’s yard near Navan last Friday morning.

Winner of three Grade One races, including the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the 2009 Cheltenham National Hunt festival, Go Native broke a hind leg during a routine workout and had to be put down.

It’s a devastating blow to the horse’s owners, the Galway based Docado Syndicate, headed by Kitty Carr and Eamon Doyle of the Park House Hotel in the city, and trainer Meade, who endured the additional trauma of seeing the injury occurring.

Just the previous Sunday, the success of Go Native’s continued comeback from a serious tendon injury was underlined when he threw down a major challenge to former Champion Hurdler, Hurricane Fly, in another Grade One contest at Punchestown.

Unfortunately, Paul Carberry’s mount took a crashing fall at the last flight in the Morgiana Hurdle, but connections were relieved to see Go Native quickly get to his feet and showing no ill-effects from his high speed tumble.

Indeed, the horse’s preparation for potential upcoming big race targets, the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, had been unaffected by that mishap at Punchestown only for tragedy to strike last Friday.

Carr admitted this week that Go Native’s shock passing had left the five members of the Docado Synocate heartbroken. “We are all still feeling numb and the news of his death was just a bolt out of the blue.

“Noel Meade rang me last Friday morning and I presumed it was to discuss future plans fo the horse but, instead, he said that he had ‘terrible news’ – Go Native had broken a leg on the gallops and they had to put him down.

“It was a very dark day after that phone call. The horse was such a big part of our lives and he brought us places we would never have gone. We had been planning ahead about the races he might run in all the way up to Cheltenham next March.”

Carr, however, and the other members of the syndicate, her sister Maura Dowd, nephew Sylvie and neice Anne Marie, and Doyle, have drawn consolation from all the messages of sympathy and good wishes they have received from around the country since Go Native’s demise.

“We even got Mass cards and the staff here in the Hotel (Park House) have really rallied around us since the news broke. The customers have been offering words of comfort as well, but everybody has been so kind. I suppose the horse belonged to the city of Galway.”

She went to pay tribute to horse dealer and trainer, Martin Cullinane of Athenry, from whom they purchased Go Native from. “Martin did great work in nursing the horse back from injury and Noel {Meade} was talking to him on the phone last Friday when the injury occured.”


At least, Carr and the Docado Syndicate have treasured memories of Go Native’s big race triumphs to cling to. “We have had wonderful times with him, but it’s so sad to see him gone.”

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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