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Maree U-20 basketballers deliver in style



Date Published: {J}

Maree 70

UCD-Marian 57

MAREE U-20 men’s basketballers made history when claiming the National Cup for the first time ever by overcoming reigning champions UCD-Marian last Saturday night in the National Basketball Arena,Tallaght.

Both sets of supporters were on the edge of their seats for most of a titanic battle, but it was the Galway contingent that hit the N6 the happier, after a tough, tense encounter. Maree’s win adds to the 2009 Under 18 Men’s triumph and to the 2008 Under 18 Men’s and Women’s double.

Captain David Hansberry lifted the Cup and Liam Conroy, the game’s high scorer with 21 points, took the MVP award. Maree’s route to the final started with a successful warm-up defence of the Cork Under 20 Open Tournament in September, when they won all five games.

National Cup wins followed over Queens, Limerick Lakers and Killester. UCD-Marian, who had beaten Maree by an agonising one point in the 2009 decider, reached this year’s final through defeats of St Vincent’s, Éanna and Belfast Star. The stage was set for a tough re-match.

The first quarter was tense, nervous and physical. UCD-Marian jumped into a 5-0 lead, and were controlling the rebounds at both ends of the court. In addition, they were fast-breaking for fun, and Maree were hanging on.

UCD-Marian confounded expectations by playing a man-to-man defense, and it was clear that Maree’s trademark 3-2 defense was a surprise to the Dubliners, though they were transitioning fast enough to prevent it bother them initially.

Cathal Finn hit six for UCD and was their main threat, finishing the game with 16 points. Eventually, after a series of rushed shots, Maree clawed their way onto the scoreboard through a Colm O’Hagan lay-up. A free throw from Liam Conroy was followed by an O’Hagan three after a huge Ciarán Harte rebound, and the mini-crisis was over.

The 3-2 defense kicked in, with George Rahmani settling to the task of containing Daniel James in particular. At the end of the first quarter, Maree had recovered, a little improbably, to share the spoils 11-11, with O’Hagan good for seven and David Hansberry for three.

In the second quarter, Maree’s offense featured three threes, two from Conroy and one from Ken Hansberry. UCD-Marian were still marginally the better rebounding team, and Maree’s help-and-recover defense was coughing up some open outside shots, through back-door cuts and unsuccessful double-teams.

But gradually, Maree were settling to the task. Con Crowley was giving the James twins a torrid time, and he set the tone for the Maree defense for the rest of the game – UCD would get no more cheap scores, and every drive and shot would be contested.

A sweet exchange of passes between the Hansberry brothers also produced a good inside basket, and showed the Maree players that, despite their height advantage, UCD could be taken on in the paint. A tense half ended with Maree shading it 29-28. Encouragingly, no Maree player was on more than two fouls, whereas the Dubliners had two players on three apiece.



For more read page 49 of this week’s City 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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