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Injury blows for Corofin

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Date Published: 05-Nov-2009

NOT even the absence of two key players, Kieran Fitzgerald and Alan O’Donovan, should prevent back-to-back county senior football champions Corofin from making it through to another provincial decider when they take on Leitrim title-holders Glencar-Manorhamilton in the Connacht semi-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday (2pm).

Full-back Fitzgerald aggravated an old hamstring injury in a recent League defeat to Tuam Stars, while O’Donovan has yet to recover from the ankle injury which forced him out of the drawn county final against Mountbellew-Moylough on October 11.

Fitzgerald, who marshalled their defence superbly as the champions came from behind against Mountbellew in the replay, is definitely out of Sunday’s clash while O’Donovan might just be capable of coming off the bench for ten or 15 minutes, if needed.

That said, the strongest team in Galway club football should be more than capable of overcoming the Leitrim champions, given that they can still boast the talents of inter-county players like Alan Burke, Gary Sice, and Damien Burke.

There is a quiet determination within Gerry Keane’s side to go as far as possible this year.

They only lost out on a place at Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day thanks to the concession of some late scores to eventual champions Kilmacud Crokes in the All-Ireland semi-final at Mullingar back in February.

Corofin, already missing county star Michael Comer to a long-term cruciate problem, staged a remarkable comeback against the wind after losing Fitzgerald to an arm injury early in the second half, only for the Crokes to kill them off in a grandstand finish.

With so many of their players involved with county teams, it was inevitable that fatigue would set in and Corofin certainly rode their luck in the early stages of the county championship. After losing their first round tie to Micheal Breathnach (1-13 to 0-10), they used their ‘get out of jail’ card in the qualifiers, before beginning another relentless march towards the county title.

Fitzgerald’s towering presence at full-back made a huge difference in both games against Mountbellew, but there is hardly a club in the province with the all-round strength of the current Corofin panel, even if they have been troubled by injuries in 2009.

Even the venue should suit the North Galway men this weekend, as they have now played four championship games in a row at Tuam Stadium. It was there that they overcame Killererin (0-11 to 0- 8) in the quarter-final, Salthill-Knocknacarra in the semi-final (2-10 to 0-10) and, eventually, Mountbellew on their way to their 13th county title.

Keane revealed this week that the champions were missing seven of their starting 15 for the recent League defeat to Tuam Stars, but most have recovered from the ’flu bug which gripped the panel a fortnight ago, while the likes of young Ronan Steede is now fully focused on senior matters after losing the county minor final to St. James’ last weekend.

For more see page 55 of this week’s Connacht 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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