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Killererin show true grit in wearing down Ballintubber



Date Published: {J}

THE pressure was really on Killererin in last Sunday’s Connacht Club football semi-final. For a start, they had to field without the greatest footballer ever produced in the parish, Padraic Joyce, they were at ‘home’ in Tuam Stadium and were also strong favourites to dismiss the challenge of first-time Mayo champions, Ballintubber.

Though the rumour mill suggested that Joyce might interrupt his honeymoon to line out for Killererin, all that speculation of ‘will he, won’t he’ appear in Tuam must have been something of a distraction for his team-mates who performed like an outfit in the opening-half who either felt they were going to beat Ballintubber anyway or were simply left rudderless by the absence of the squad’s spiritual leader.

To put it mildly, Killererin were in a big hole at half-time. Having had the backing of the strong wind, the Galway title holders found themselves a point in arrears and it could have been worse such as energetic Ballintubber’s spurned a couple of great scoring opportunities just before the interval. The strong-running Mayo men were cutting holes through the Killererin defence with midfielder Jason Gibbons particularly effective.

They were the better and hungrier team with Padraig O’Connor’s goal from a softly-awarded penalty in the eighth minute putting Ballintubber four points clear. Killererin were struggling in a lot of the key positions and apart from the accuracy of Nicky Joyce – he pointed a couple of terrific early frees – the Barnaderg supporters had little grounds for optimism in the opening quarter. In the context of the trend of the match up to then, nobody could have envisaged that James Horan’s outfit would only manage two more points in the remaining 57 minutes of action, including eight of injury time – and both of those came from frees.

The turnaround simply wasn’t down to Ballintubber losing their way as Killererin shored up the centre with their defence improving gradually throughout the hour. Colin Forde and Damien Flaherty began to attack the ball in the full back line, while Daniel Mannion was becoming more influential in the number six jersey. On the left flank, the tireless Tomás Fahy was arguably in possession more than any other individual on the pitch – no wonder, he went down with cramp before the end.

In the second quarter, Killererin were slowly getting to grips with the situation with Man of the Match Tom Hughes thumping over an inspirational point from long range while corner forward Ger Butler split the posts just before the break. They still had work to do, but their greater experience became increasingly visible as the match progressed. Their ‘keep ball’ strategy was best exemplified by player/manager Tommie Joyce and stepping up their overall work-rate, the Galway men were now calling the shots. In contrast, Ballintubber began to get frustrated and taking wrong options with county player, Alan Dillon, responsible for a couple of bad wides.

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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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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