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Injury time Harte 65 saves Gort



Date Published: 31-Oct-2012

Gort 0-9

St Thomas’ 0-9


FOR the second year in a row these intense local rivals were forced to battle it out for a place in the county final in Monsoon-like conditions and, once again, it was champions Gort who were celebrating a dramatic late score in the driving wind and rain at Athenry on Sunday.


Aiden Harte’s composed 62nd minute ‘65’, sweetly struck in the appalling conditions, gave the champions a lifeline and ensured the sides would have to meet again after Gort had trailed their neighbours for almost 50 minutes of this disappointing semi-final.

At least this time St Thomas’ live to fight again – a late Richie Cummins goal killed off their hopes of a final appearance at the same stage and venue 12 months ago – although they will regret that they did not manage to kill off the Gort challenge after dominating much of the game.

It’s one of the problems of reaching the All-Ireland final that club players are then forced to slug it out in atrocious conditions in the dead of winter and full credit must go to both sides for battling bravely to the finish on a day that tested the endurance of the players and the 6,000 strong crowd to the maximum.

The small covered stand was packed to capacity half an hour before the throw-in and the game turned into something of a lottery for players whose hard work all year came down to an awful hour in which the conditions put paid to any hopes of a classic local derby.

St Thomas’, with Conor Cooney and Richie Murray in fine form, did most of the early running when they had the wind at their backs to lead by three points (0-6 to 0-3) at the break. They should have been further in front after hitting six wides – to Gort’s three – in that first half.


But a resolute Gort side refused to give up the fight, despite finding it difficult to eat into their slender lead, and their composure under pressure in the tense closing minutes showed the hallmark of county champions.

The title-holders will also feel they have more to improve on for the replay, given that they managed just one score from play over the hour – a well-taken Paul Killilea point six minutes after the re-start – and that they missed a host of chances when they finally took control in the second half.

St Thomas’ settled well and looked the livelier team in the earlier part of this game. Former county man Murray opened their account in the third minute and Cooney doubled on it, following a good move involving wing back Darragh Burke and Bernard Burke.

Gort relied hugely on the placed ball accuracy of full-forward Gerry Quinn, who fired over a free from half-way on seven minutes. He levelled the issue following a foul on veteran Ollie Fahy on 14 minutes and hit all three of their scores in the opening half.

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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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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