Date Published: 03-Aug-2010
A POWERFUL finish, full of character and determination, enabled Galway minor footballers to storm past a fired-up Longford by getting five of the last six scores of this keenly contested All-Ireland minor championship quarterfinal clash at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon last Saturday.
This heart-warming victory, desperately needed by football supporters in the county after such a disappointing year at other grades, was achieved despite being three points behind with less than 15 minutes remaining and the Leinster champions appearing to be in control.
After missing several chances, especially in the first half when they had the benefit of a very strong breeze, Longford got the breakthrough they had sought when a speculative ball into the goalmouth by corner- forward Declan Mimnagh was eventually forced over the line by Robbie Smith and the same player then pointed from a difficult angle for a 1-5 to 0-5 lead.
It was looking grim for Galway at that stage but they refused to panic and with the introduction of 6ft 4in Athenry man Thomas Flynn at midfield beginning to take effect and with another towering giant, Peadar O Griofa of Micheal Breathnach’s, showing leadership, they turned it around.
Young O Griofa himself kicked five magnificent points, three from play and two from long range right wing frees, as he drove Galway on but it was a great all round effort by the team and subs as they eventually took control of the game and won a deserved place in the semi-finals and a cherished outing in Croke Park.
There is no use pretending that this was a wonderful display by Galway – it wasn’t, and it would not have been good enough to beat either Mayo or Offaly who played at a much higher tempo in the opening game of the double bill, but in knockout sport the result is all that matters and that came right for them in the end.
It should be remembered too though that Longford had already beaten Offaly and an injury-ravaged Galway pushed Mayo hard for most of their encounter at Castlebar.
It was encouraging too that Galway should show such resolve and grit when things seemed to be going against them. This side is very well motivated by manager Gerry Fahy and selectors John Conole and Noel Meehan and they do not panic in the face of adversity. They were deprived of several key players throughout the campaign but have overcome the setbacks including the Mayo defeat to get this far.
For a full match report see page 23 of the Sentinel
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.