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Injuries force Connacht to ring the changes for tough test in Scotland



Date Published: 11-Sep-2009

Dara Bradley

EARLY season injuries have forced Connacht coach Michael Bradley into making three changes to the side that takes on Edinburgh in this evening’s Magners League clash in Murrayfield (kick-off 7.30pm).
Bradley has drafted in props Jamie Hagan and Ronan Loughney in the front-row, which was under enormous pressure against the Osprey scrum during the 12-19 defeat last Friday.
Loughney, who wasn’t even on the bench against the Ospreys, comes in for Brett Wilkinson, who injured a finger in training this week while Hagan, who replaced the injured Robbie Morris (back) after just 19 minutes against the Welsh men, impressed enough to earn a place alongside Loughney and hooker Seán Cronin. In the other change, New Zealander Troy Nathan starts in the centre, replacing Niva Ta’auso who broke a bone in his hand.
The encouraging news is Mike McCarthy’s injury is not as severe as originally feared – his Achilles injury has cleared-up and the back-row is named on the bench and he, along with Johnny O’Connor, is expected to taste some action in the second-half tonight.
Connacht’s record in Murrayfield is abysmal and the westerners have been on the wrong side of fierce hidings in the Scottish venue in recent seasons –they were thumped 35-5 in the latest trip there when being outscored four tries to one at the same venue in March of this year.
In the corresponding home fixture last October, Connacht were outclassed again, trailing Edinburgh by 27 points to nil at half-time, before fighting back in the second half at the Sportsground, to salvage some pride in the 27-14 defeat.
But last week’s opening defeat to the Ospreys will give the squad a much-needed confidence boost going into tonight’s clash. Bradley’s men were the better team for long spells against the star-studded Welsh outfit but just failed to make their superiority count on the scoreboard before two harsh sin-binings turned the tie in the Osprey’s favour.
Securing the losing bonus-point, something that has eluded them and cost them dearly in League placings in recent seasons, is encouraging but Bradley’s men may struggle against an Edinburgh side that lost just once at ‘The Castle’ in the 2008/2009 Magners League.
With the likes of internationals Chris Patterson named at full-back, captain Allister Hogg, Geoff Cross and others, as well as two Lions that are sure to be sprung from the bench at some stage, The Gunners will be confident of earning their second win on the trot of this campaign.
Edinburgh have made one change to the team that produced a courageous defensive display last weekend to hold on for a 21-22 away win over Cardiff. Dutch winger Tim Visser misses out with a shoulder knock and is replaced by Andy Turnbull and interestingly the Scottish club side has named two British and Irish Lions players on the bench. Scotland captain and scrum-half Mike Blair is provisionally named as a replacement although he may not feature due to a throat bug while fellow Lion and hooker Ross Ford, who hasn’t played since the third Lions Test match against South Africa this summer, is expected to be sprung from the bench at some stage on Friday night.
Meanwhile, hooker Cronin and prop Brett Wilkinson have been included in the Irish squad which will hold a training camp in Dublin next week. They were selected by Ireland Manager Declan Kidney in 34 man panel the final Ireland training camp to take place in Dublin on September 14 and 15.

Connacht: G. Duffy, B. Tuohy, T. Nathan, K. Matthews, F. Carr, I. Keatley, F. Murphy; R. Loughney, S. Cronin, J. Hagan, A. Browne, B. Upton, J. Muldoon, R. Ofisa, M. McComish. Replacements: A. Flavin, C. HigginsM. McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, C. O’Loughlin, M. Nikora, A. Wynne.
Edinburgh: C. Patterson, M Robertson, B. Cairns, J. Houston, A. Turnball, P. Godman, Greg Laidlaw; A. Jacobsen, A. Kelly, G. Cross C. Hamilton, S. MacLeod, A. MacDonald, R. Grant, A. Hogg.

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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