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Late McCormack goal wraps it up for Loughrea

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 05-Nov-2009

LOUGHREA’S hopes of a hat-trick of county hurling titles this season is still on track after this five point victory over Sarsfields last Saturday clinched the Junior A championship at Ballinderreen.

With the club also represented in the minor and senior deciders to come, substitute Steven McCormack’s goal two minutes from time ensured victory and guaranteed the first trophy for Loughrea this year.

 It was a well worked move. Sarsfields were coming back into the encounter with points from Gerard Dolan and Gerard McMahon reducing arrears to three points (0-10 to 1-4) before McCormack struck the match winning score.

Colm Maher won possession in the middle of the park and sent the ball in the direction of Tom Huban. He batted the ball down for the in running Pa Huban who cut through the Sarsfields defence and found McCormack who made no mistakes.

It was a big blow for the Bullaun/New Inn side just when they were getting back into the game, but their failure to create significant scoring opportunities and poor finishing with many of those that did present themselves was ultimately their undoing.

And that was after Sarsfields made the perfect start with their goal after just six minutes. Ronan Duhan passed to Eanna Dolan whose  delivery towards the posts broke kindly for Darren Skehill who gave Derek Lohan no chance. 

Loughrea responded within two minutes when Brian Kelly opened their account with an effort from 60 yards. But these would be the only two first half scores from play. Sarsfields finished the opening period with eight wides and when Cyril Murray knocked over a free to make it 1-1 to 0-1 on 15 minutes, they wouldn’t score again in the half. 

While Loughrea were guilty of forcing the umpires to wave wide for five missed opportunities, Gordon Glynn started to find his range in the second quarter as he concluded the half with four frees resulting in white flags. 

With Tom Shaughnessy’s side holding the interval advantage (0-5 to 1-1), Sarsfields needed to make the most of the elements in the second half but it was Loughrea who maintained their momentum. 

Kelly got his second score after just 11 seconds to stretch the lead before Glynn added two more frees to put four between the teams. 

Dolan replied with a score for Sarsfields but their attacks continued to break down or go astray (five more second half wides). Also, Loughrea’s defending was much more disciplined in the second half and they didn’t concede a scoreable free until two minutes into injury time. At that stage, it was game over.


Tom and Pa Huban added two further scores to give Loughrea a 0-10 to 1-2 advantage before Dolan and McMahon scored for Sarsfields and McCormack got the match winning goal. Indeed, the two Hubans and McCormack combined again in injury time looking for a second but this chance went abegging.


Cyril Murray got the last point of the match for Sarsfields just after the Loughrea goal but they couldn’t put a serious dent in Loughrea’s lead with the time remaining. 

Sarsfields were unfortunate to lose full back Philip Madden through injury early on but they still had strong performances from Padraic Murray (who moved to full back after Madden’s withdrawal), Dara Earls, Padraig Kelly, Michael Ward, McMahon and Dolan. 

Lohan did what was required in goal for Loughrea; Alan Joyce, James O’Dea and Paul Linnane defended well; Eddie McMahon and Andy Kearns put in a lot of work in the middle; Kelly and Glynn got the necessary scores; and the Hubans and McCormack put the Sarsfields defence under a lot of pressure.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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