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Heartbreak for St Mary’s



Date Published: 09-Mar-2012

 ST Mary’s College suffered heartbreak in the FAI Senior Schools’ Cup semi-final in Tullamore yesterday when they lost on penalties to this season’s surprise packets, St Aidan’s Community College of Cork.

The Galway side, bidding for their third final in seven years, went into the game as favourites against a school that only won the Munster title for the first time last month, but the Cork side shaded the game throughout and were deserved winners of what was an energy-sapping game played on a poor surface.

St Mary’s twice came from behind in normal time as the game finished 2-2, and with neither side able to find the breakthrough in extra-time, the tie went down to the dreaded penalty shoot-out, and it was St Aidan’s who held their nerve in sports cruellest lottery to advance to a final against Malahide of Dublin in the Tallaght Stadium in just under two weeks.

St Aidan’s got off to a dream start when opening the scoring in the first minute. St Marys lost possession from the kick-off, and the Cork full-back Sean O’Callaghan made good ground down the right before being fouled.

Darren Murphy, the game’s outstanding player, whipped in a great ball from the right, and O’Callaghan ran across the defensive line to power a header past Tadhg O’Malley in the St Mary’s goal.

It was a sharp shock to the system for St Mary’s, but they were almost back in the game in the 10th minute when Dave Mooney’s ball into the penalty area was only half-cleared by a St Aiden’s defender, but Aaron McGinty’s volley from the edge of the box flew over the crossbar.

St Mary’s were doing most of the pressing, and they finally got back on level terms inthe 27th minute. Osaige – a big strong player who caused the St Aidan’s defence plenty of problems – played a ball in from the right, but Colm Kirrane had it taken off his toe by


The ball broke for Mooney, who swivelled and hit it first time, and the ball hit the far post and bobbled across the goal-line, with assistant referee Paul Tone indicating the ball crossed the line.

The goal celebrations were short-lived, however, as St Aidan’s were back in front within 60 seconds thanks to a stunning effort from Evan Kearney. A mix-up inside the St Mary’s half allowed Kearney to steal possession, and he advanced a couple of yards before hitting a blistering shot which flew into the net, giving O’Malley no chance.

Credit to St Mary’s, they didn’t let the heads drop, and they got back on level terms for a second time six minutes later with a cracking goal of their own.

St Aidan’s ‘keeper Chris Mullane could only punch a Mooney corner to the edge of the box, where it was met on the volley by Sean O’Fhlatharta who hit a looping effort into the top corner.

Chances were at a premium in the second half, although St Mary’s substitute Colm Devery had a couple of glorious chances to fire his side into the lead.

St Aidan’s had their fair share of misfortune in the second half as well, the Cork side hitting the woodwork on two occasions, as the game went into extra time. Both sides were tiring at this stage, and it was the Cork outfit who looked the most dangerous, particularly through the boot of Murphy, a member of Cork City’s Airtricity League Premier Division squad.

When the game went to penalties St Mary’s were up first, but Browne hit his effort wide, but Kearney’s effort hit the crossbar.

Mullane saved McGinty’s effort to put the Cork side back in the driving seat, and while Darcy, Mooney and Harry Goulding were all successful with their efforts, St Aidan’s converted all four of their kicks after Kearney’s efforts to break Galway hearts.

For a more detailed report see this week’s City 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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