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Heartbreak for Galway in quarter-final thriller

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Date Published: {J}

Tipperary 3-17

Galway 3-16

Dara Bradley

IT was always going to be a shootout. And for the loser, it was always going to hurt. And boy are Galway hurting.

Devastation engulfed the Galway players and backroom team after just falling short in a mammoth, mouth-watering quarter-final struggle with neighbours Tipperary at Croke Park on Sunday. The sight of Tony Óg Regan and captain Shane Kavanagh slumping to the sod painted its own picture. Broken men; inconsolable.

It really was a classic 70 odd minutes of hurling with 39 scores and six goals that brought the 2010 All-Ireland championship to life and will live in the memory for a long time to come. But if ever there was a match where no team deserved to lose, this was it.

Sport is cruel. And the fact that Galway hurled out of their skins and contributed handsomely to the best senior hurling match so far this season means damn all now that they are out of the championship. Out again after another hard luck story.

Yes, Galway were heroic. Yes, Galway stood up and were counted – the players didn’t duck, dive or go into hiding. Yes, Galway answered their critics with a high intensity performance. It was a display that filled Galway supporters with pride.

You couldn’t fault their commitment, honest endeavour and courage. Galway were warriors but they still lost and it’s results that ultimately matter.

Galway haven’t reached an All-Ireland semi-final since 2005 and for the second year in a row, this Galway outfit were out-hurled in the closing stages of a tight quarter-final. No amount of heroism can disguise that for the second year in a row, Galway were ahead with the finishing line in sight but managed to lose by a solitary point in a photo finish.

It’s heartbreaking because it was a match they could and probably should have won. A puck of the ball here, a decision there, a bit of luck and all would have been so different.

Leaving aside the fact that it was hard to believe Galway were even in a position to strike for victory given the aerial dominance of Tipperary’s backs against Galway’s half-forward line in particular, John McIntyre’s charges nudged two points ahead with nine minutes of normal time remaining, and just failed to seal the deal.

 

Of course referee James Owens didn’t do the Tribesmen any favours. All day it seemed Galway had to work that little bit harder than Tipperary to earn frees with fouls on Joe Canning in particular being waved on.

There were a couple of bizarre decisions that went against Galway, too – David Burke will certainly feel he was harshly pulled-up for fouling the sliotar at the start of the second half; and Ollie Canning and Donal Barry can feel hard done by for conceding frees at crucial stages when really the Tipperary men were doing the fouling. But then again, Tipp could argue Joe Canning’s penalty was a 50/50 call.

The real talking point though was the anti-climatic and wrong decision to blow for full-time in the last play of the match. What came over the Wexford referee in that final passage of play is mind boggling. Tipperary had just made a decisive scoring burst to nudge into a one point lead when Galway won a free deep inside their own half.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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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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