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Hapless Connacht outfit fail to raise a gallop



Date Published: {J}

Ulster 3-16

Connacht 0-13

Alan Dooley in Markievicz Park

AN outclassed Connacht side were put to the sword by a well drilled Ulster outfit at a sparsely attended Markievicz Park, Sligo on Sunday afternoon, as the M. Donnelly Inter-provincial Football Championship made a low key return to the GAA calendar after a two year absence.

Joe Kernan’s side were indeed hot favourites to progress to this weekend’s final, but the ease with which they overpowered this Connacht side, one which granted was assembled at very short notice and was missing several of the provinces’ top players, was both disappointing and alarming.

Galway were represented by Moycullen’s Gareth Bradshaw and Killererin’s Nicky Joyce in the starting line-up, with full back Finian Hanley a big loss having been a late withdrawal. Thomas Flynn and Paul Conroy both saw second-half action as substitutes but neither could turn the tide of a contest that was as good as over by the 23rd minute.

Bradshaw and Joyce were involved in any decent Connacht offerings in the opening 15 minutes as Bradshaw roamed forward from right half back to good effect, linking well with Mayo’s Conor Mortimer to earn a free to level matters after Donegal’s Rory Kavanagh had opened the scoring.

Joyce also won a free which Roscommon’s Donie Shine unfortunately floated wide, but the warning bells had already sounded for the Connacht defence as early as the first minute when Down’s Mark Poland rattled the crossbar with the goal at his mercy. Tyrone’s Martin Penrose notched his first free as Bradshaw picked up an early booking, but Mortimer’s free had the sides level with ten minutes gone.

In the 25 minutes of the half that followed, though, Ulster added a further 2-8 to the dodgy scoreboard that had somehow misplaced the number six, while Connacht struggled desperately to add an extra trio of points to their tally. While Ulster were cohesive and smart in possession, Connacht were too often ponderous when a quick ball in would have caused Ulster more headaches.

Derry’s Conleith Gilligan had pushed Ulster ahead once more with a right footed effort, and the resultant Connacht kickout was snaffled by Tyrone’s Peter Harte. A quick exchange of hand passes with Poland exposed a gaping hole in the Connacht rearguard and Harte duly stuck the ball in the bottom corner.

Though Connacht replied with a close in Joyce free when he was denied a goal scoring chance, Tyrone’s Owen Mulligan hit back with a beauty from the right corner before then setting up Poland for Ulster’s second goal with a raking long ball from out the field. Mulligan was popping up all over the field to good effect and his county colleague Harte soon made it 2-5 to 0-3 with another quality score.

The dismal crowd of roughly 200 must have wondered why they had even bothered when Penrose stretched the lead further, before finally Mortimer managed to register Connacht’s first point from play, admittedly a fine effort in the 27th minute; again the result of quick, accurate delivery which was in such short supply.

Four points in quick succession from Down’s Dan Gordon, Antrim’s James Loughrey, Penrose, and Harte, bringing their total number of scorers to a staggering eight, had Ulster soon well and truly out of sight before Mortimer added his third free of the half as a scant riposte before the interval arrived.

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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