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Hard work but Galway finish in some style

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Date Published: {J}

Galway 1-18

Limerick 1-11

STEPHEN GLENNON

IN KILMALLOCK

IF hurling worked on the same principles as Monopoly, then Galway’s senior hurlers certainly diminished their ‘Get Out of Jail’ card stash against an eager Limerick outfit in this keenly fought, if scrappy National League opener in Kilmallock on Sunday.

Having struggled to get a firm foothold on the contest, Galway’s plight looked extremely perilous when the home side were awarded a 38th minute penalty after corner forward Alan O’Connor was fouled. If Limerick had scored from the placed ball, they would have leaped into a four-point lead, but, more importantly, their confidence levels would have soared and steeled them for the second half battle.

As it was, Galway ‘keeper James Skehill bravely got his foot to Paudie McNamara’s low effort, deflecting it out for a ’65, which O’Connor duly converted to nudge his side into a 1-8 to 0-9 lead. Limerick, though, still had the momentum and an opening day shock was not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Of course, this scenario was incomprehensible before throw-in. Limerick hurling was in turmoil, with 24 of the 2009 panel at odds with entrenched current manager Justin McCarthy. So, this was a new-look Limerick, but what the Shannonsiders lacked in guile and experience, they willingly made up for with guts and youthful endeavour.

In many respects, this Limerick outfit were a side with a point to prove. They got stuck in from the throw-in and stood toe to toe with their Galway rivals for the opening 35 minutes of the first half to lead 1-7 to 0-9 at the break.

Their goal arrived on just 13 minutes, after Galway wing-back Kevin Hynes hesitated for a brief moment in collecting possession and Limerick swept through like a hurricane to gobble up the loose ball. In the resultant move, Cathal Mullane blasted an effort beyond Skehill to catapult the underdogs in an unlikely 1-2 to 0-3 lead.

In fairness, Galway did respond immediately. Cyril Donnellan tallied his second point of the afternoon, before midfielder Niall Cahalan and half-forward David Burke hit further efforts to reclaim a slender advantage.

Still, Galway were far from fluid, showing little of the enthusiasm and movement that they displayed in their Walsh Cup final victory over Dublin. Quite often, though, when a team hits a high one week, they can be a bit flat in their following outing, and this was definitely the case with Galway in the tight confines of Kilmallock.

Another mitigating factor was that this was Galway’s fourth week on the road, so that, too, had to take its toll this early in the season. In any event, it was Limerick who forced the pace in the second quarter. O’Connor rattled over three frees from a myriad of angles, while the impressive Brian O’Sullivan and Graeme Mulcahy added further efforts to establish that interval lead.

For their part, Galway were having difficulty finding the target – a feature throughout the 70 minutes as they tallied 12 wides, five in the first half – with only Niall Hayes, Farragher (free) and Aidan Harte posting scores for the visitors in a frugal 18-minute spell before the break.

Indeed, were it not for the Trojan efforts of full-backs Damien Joyce and captain Shane Kavanagh and a man of the match display from centre-half back Tony Óg Regan, an otherwise lethargic Galway could have been grappling with a greater half-time deficit.

No doubt, Galway were living on the edge, underlined by the concession of the penalty just three minutes into the second period. Skehill’s save, though, proved pivotal, while the introduction of defender Fergal Moore and forwards Iarla Tannian and Niall Healy brought fresh impetus to the Galway challenge.

For more, read page 55 of this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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