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‘Hen parties’ causing havoc with camogie fixtures in Galway

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Date Published: {J}

“GETTING the house in order” was just one of the recommendations made in relation to the fixtures debate which brought stirring arguments from many of the delegates who attended the County Camogie Board AGM at the Lough Rea Hotel & Spa on Monday evening.

Chairperson Geraldine McGrath argued “that many clubs had stooped to the lowest levels” to get matches called off during the summer. Clearly, infuriated, the Chairperson went on to say that “hen parties and 21st birthdays” were the excuses used week on week to have games postponed.

“Until we get our fixtures going, we are going nowhere”, added the Chairperson. She said it was a credit to the fixtures committee that all competitions, with the exclusion of the minor championship were concluded by early November, but said next year the possibility of playing clubs matches while the All Ireland senior championship was in progress would have to be looked at.

The Camogie Board stressed it is their prime aim to finish the minor competitions by the end of the calendar year. The U18 ‘B’ final between St. Thomas and Salthill will go ahead this weekend, despite a proposal from St. Thomas’ delegate Marline Connolly that the final be re-fixed for next February.

The minor ‘A’ semi finals featuring Sarsfields against Mullagh, and Killimor against Athenry will also go ahead this weekend, with the final to be played the following week.

Assistant Secretary Pauline Mitchell thanked everyone for their courtesy and co-operation with regard to fixtures, but stated that “getting the mindset right” was crucial for future years.

In relation to finance, the County Board experienced a deficit of expenditure over income of €18,165 this year. That gap is expected to be narrowed considerably as much of the money from the car draw had still to come in from clubs. However, many delegates pointed out that due to the current economic climate, they were finding it extremely difficult to finance their own clubs, let alone provide for the County.

Chairperson Geraldine McGrath pleaded with clubs to “come up with a solution for a fundraising idea” as clubs cannot continue to be “exhausted” in this regard.

Accountant Mary Thornton alluded to the extreme costs of the senior team, which was also picked up by Athenry delegate Julie Carr. However, it was revealed that the cost of the senior team decreased dramatically in comparison with 2008 with the total sum for 2009 coming to €30,383. Camogie Board Secretary Ann Kearney said that County teams only received the “bare minimum” this year.

Cappatagle clubman Noel Finn was unopposed in his elevation from intermediate to senior team manager. Nine clubs, Oranmore/Maree Kiltormer, Mullagh, Portumna, Kiltullagh/Killimordaly, Cappatagle, Ardrahan, Turloughmore and Ballinasloe, supported Finn for the position.

Salthill delegate Joe Maguire proposed Finn for the senior job at the meeting and it was seconded by Kiltullagh/Killimordaly delegate Frank Duane. The decision is subject to ratification by the Executive Committee, but that will be a formality after outgoing manager Liam Donoghue informed the board prior to the meeting that he was not interested in seeking a second year.

Finn, who has guided Galway to two All Ireland Intermediate titles this decade plus the junior crown in 2003, pointed out that there will be a change in his background team for the upcoming season.

Chairperson Geraldine McGrath stressed the need for a “good relationship between the senior and intermediate players” but warned that only players that were needed be used by the senior management in 2010.

For more, read page 46 of this week’s Galway City 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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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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