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It’s glee for Lee in Hurdle



Date Published: 30-Jul-2010

GALWAY jockey Graham Lee fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition yesterday when riding a winner in one of the two big races in Galway for the first time, the Guinness Galway Hurdle.

The Mervue man was handed the spin on 6/1 shot Overturn after regular jockey Jason Maguire was ruled out through injury, and the Galway man never looked back as he travelled from pillar to post to romp home by five and a half lengths.

“It means a lot to me, when I was a young lad I used to walk out to this place from home, this is all I ever wanted to do, and it means a lot to me to ride a winner at Galway,” Lee said after the race.

Overturn headed the field from the off, with last year’s winner Bahrain Storm tucked in behind him and Fosters Cross and favourite Dirar also in close quarters. The eventual winner set a good gallop, which was expected after Lee revealed that trainer Donald McCain had told him to “loose him [Overturn] off, he’ll stay the two and a half miles. Enjoy yourself, and if you are beaten, you’ll have given it a good shot”.

The six years old gelding never looked troubled, putting in a near-flawless display of jumping, and coming out of the dip and around the turn for the final time, the contest had become a two horse race between Overturn and Dirar, who was trying to justify the tag of favourite having been sent off at 4/1.

The trip had taken nothing out of Overturn, however, and he pulled away coming up the hill to win comfortably, with Dirar beaten by half a length by Bahrain Storm for second place with a price of 8/1.Slieveardagh came in fourth at 9/1 a further three lengths back.

“It felt like a good even tempo, I was just a passenger on him, he did all the work,” said Lee, before his thoughts turned to the unlucky Maguire. “Jason is in my thoughts, he did a lot of work with this horse. This is the hardest game in the world, but the good days outweigh the bad days,” Lee said.

It all proved too much for Overturn’s groom, who was reduced to tears as he led his charge into the parade ring, although the horse seemed none the worse off for his efforts and showed plenty of life in the ring, suggesting he was capable of another trip around the famous track, but he settled for a drink of water and a walk to the stables.

For a more detailed report see page 43 of the City Tribune

See also:

McCoy has his finger on the pulse – Page 44

Admiral Barry lays down the law – Page 44

Roche & Howley take Galway by storm – Page 44

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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