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Junior Certs out in force to celebrate results



Date Published: 10-Sep-2009

Fewer students sat the Junior Certificate this year, with less than 3,000 secondary school pupils across the city and county celebrating their results yesterday (Wednesday).
A total of 2,937 sat the exam in Galway in June, which was down by six per cent on last year. The number of students with special needs and adults who had returned to state education remained the same.
Just nine students nationwide achieved the highest possible mark of 12 As in the exam. Nationally, more than 55,000 school students received their results, which were available online from 4pm. This year’s results are in line with those of previous years. More than 20,000 students achieved an A in at least one subject.
Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keefe, congratulated all the students on completing the first major set of examinations in their second level education, and expressed delight at the number who took science and higher level maths exams. Over 87% of students sat the science subject and over 70% of those students took it at higher level. Of the overall numbers who sat maths, over 43% of them took higher level.
He urged them to continue with these subjects onto the Leaving Cert.
Joe Moran, president of ASTI, the largest second level teachers union, said regardless of individual grades, the junior cert was an important milestone for all students. “Every student has a unique set of talents, abilities, skills and interests and it is this uniqueness that we should celebrate today,” he said.
He went on to express concern about the impact of the education cutbacks on Junior Cycle education: “The increase in the pupil: teacher ratio means larger classes for every student, the abolition of the Junior Certificate Schools Programme grant will affect marginalised and disadvantaged Junior Cycle students and will mean some students will be at increased risk of dropping out, and the cap on language support teachers will negatively affect newcomer students at a crucial time in their education.”
A number of alcohol-free parties were planned for various locations around the city and county to encourage students to celebrate without indulging in alcohol.
A number of agencies joined together to provide a drug and alcohol free venue for city students to celebrate the results. Each of the students received a free invitation to the party at Leisureland on Wednesday, that was supervised by over 50 experienced volunteers, drawn from the agencies involved, including the HSE, Foróige, Galway City Partnership, Galway City VEC, An Garda Síochána, Galway City Council, Youth Work Ireland and the schools. Students who wished to attend had to complete an application form, which included a passport photograph and contact details for their parents. The forms were returned to the school and the young people had to register their attendance on the night.

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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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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