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Hurling minors & U21’s heading east

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Date Published: 10-Dec-2010

GALWAY’S top hurling officials have been given the green light by delegates to approach Leinster Council and discuss the possibility of the county’s minor and U-21 teams joining the provincial championship at these grades.

 

With Galway’s senior representatives heading into their final season of their three-year term competing in Leinster hurling, clubs are hoping that the current system will not only be extended for the seniors for another period, but that the county’s minor and U-21 sides can also compete within the provincial structure.

 

Discussion arose on the proposal when a motion was putdown by Sarsfields at the annual Galway Hurling Board convention at Raheen Woods Hotel last Wednesday evening. Speaking on the motion, Sarsfields’ delegate Tommie Fox acknowledged Galway’s minor and U-21 outfits could not take part in the 2011 competitions, but he said the club wished to initiate a debate on the county’s future involvement in such a venture.

 

“Two years ago, we had a great debate on the seniors joining the Leinster championship and there were a lot of people who spoke for and against it,” said Fox. “At the end of the day, though, Galway went in, and it was not the end of the world. Now, our club feels that both the Galway minor and U-21 teams should also compete in the Leinster championship.”

 

He said he was aware the current U-21 manager, Anthony Cunningham, was in favour of such a move, while he also acknowledged the views of minor boss, Mattie Murphy, who previously advocated that the shortest run to the All-Ireland was the best.

 

However, Fox argued that that if Galway qualified for a Leinster final at minor level, even if they were beaten, they would still get a second chance as there is currently a back-door for provincial final losers. “They will get a second chance.”

 

While Gort delegate Dermot Flaherty was very much in favour of the U-21s entering a provincial series, he said he would have reservations about the minors following suit. “Over the last number of years, we have been very successful at that grade [under the present system],” said Flaherty.

 

“If our minors enter Leinster, then they have to start training a lot earlier in the year and I think in any young fellow’s life, education should come first. At present, there is no pressure put on any of the players until after the Leaving Cert. That is when they are brought together and a panel is picked.”

 

Clarinbridge delegate Mike Carr, though, said Galway seeking inclusion in the Leinster championship at minor and U-21 grades was “a no-brainer,” adding “we have to go in”. He argued that the players in Kilkenny and Wexford also go to school in those counties and still manage to play for their counties and do their exams. “We have to go in,” reiterated Carr. “It is a no-brainer. We, in Galway, have been isolated for far too long.”

 

Castlegar’s Michael Connolly also expressed a similar sentiment, noting there had been plenty of “ifs and buts” when Galway sought to join Leinster in late 2008. That said, he believed management, players and supporters alike were delighted to be involved in a provincial championship. “I can’t see why it wouldn’t work,” he added.

 

However, Oranmore/Maree delegate Tony McGrath urged caution. He agreed most people might be in favour of it, but highlighted that Galway had been beaten by Kilkenny both years in the Leinster championship – in the 2009 semi-final and 2010 final – and he believed the jury was still out.

 

He said they should wait until the seniors’ three-year cycle was complete to determine if the move was successful or not. He added: “What happened [with the U-21s] in Thurles was a once off, while Mattie Murphy had no explanation for what happened with the minors on the day. It was just one of those things. We have a good record at minor and U-21 as it stands and I think we should do our third year at senior in Leinster first . . . before we make any decision.”

 

For the full report see page 44 of this week’s City Tribune

See more from the convention on page 44:

  • Thumbs down to four qualifying
  • First sod to be turned in 2011
  • Hanley has the X-factor

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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