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Hurlers hit by double injury blow for final



Date Published: {J}


TURLOUGHMORE defender Fergal Moore and Craughwell attacker Niall Healy will both miss Galway’s bid for a ninth National League hurling title when the Tribesmen meet Cork in the decider at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday (7pm).

Moore returned to competitive action with his club last weekend, but suffered a set-back when aggravating an ankle injury. As for Healy – who gave a man of the match display, scoring 2-9 against Cork in the final round-robin tie a fortnight ago – he sustained an ankle injury in Craughwell’s first round senior championship victory over Kiltormer.

Both will be significant losses to the Galway set-up come Sunday.

“Fergal was probably not 100% going into that (club) game, but he had to see where he was in relation to the injury,” said Galway manager John McIntyre. “Unfortunately, Niall also sustained an ankle injury playing for Craughwell in the county championship last weekend. He was still sore on Wednesday, and just time was against him being 100% for the final.

“At this level, you need players 100% injury-free, and right physically, for your big games. Fergal and Niall are understandably big losses, but I am confident we have sufficient options to cope with their absences.”

Indeed, the Galway squad this season has looked extremely formidable, underlined when the Tribesmen’s so called second string defeated the Leesiders on a scoreline of 3-17 to 2-13 in that final group league game at Pearse Stadium earlier in the month.

No wonder, then, the Galway management has been deliberating long and hard over their selection this week, with McIntyre and company delaying naming their starting XV until this evening (Thursday). That said, Colm Callanan will most likely get the nod ahead of James Skehill for the goalkeeping position, while Damien Joyce, captain Shane Kavanagh and All-Star Ollie Canning should make up a resolute full-back line.

The formation of the half-back unit, though, is somewhat of a dilemma. Former captain David Collins should line out at right half back, with either Tony Óg Regan or John Lee filling out the centre-half back berth. The other could then move to No. 7, although Castlegar’s Donal Barry has made a strong claim for a starting position following a number of solid displays throughout Galway’s league campaign.

Ger Farragher will, no doubt, be reinstated to midfield, with St. Thomas’ David Burke, Portumna duo Eoin Lynch and Andy Smith, and Mullagh’s Niall Cahalan all possible options to complete the centre-field partnership.

In attack, Galway welcome back Pearses’ Cyril Donnellan from suspension, although it remains to be seen if Portumna’s Kevin Hayes did enough in the recent Cork clash to merit his selection ahead of Donnellan for the final. Meanwhile, Galway have an abundance of options for the wings, with Aonghus Callanan, Eanna Ryan, Aidan Harte, Iarla Tannian and Smith all viable options.

Inside, one would expect Joe Canning to claim the full-forward berth, with Damien Hayes – having hit 1-2 when introduced against Cork last day out – to feature at corner forward. The other corner forward berth could go to a plethora of players, including Tannian, Harte, Finian Coone or Joe Gantley, who hit an impressive 2-4 for Beagh in their club championship victory over Killimordaly last Saturday.

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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