Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Mayo footballers pull off shock of the summer



Date Published: 05-Aug-2011

IT’S virtually 60 years since Mayo footballers last brought home the Sam Maguire Cup and when they stumbled to extra time

against the minnows of London in the opening round of the Connacht championship in Ruislip, even the county’s most dyed in the wool supporters must have been resigned to a short summer.

Under new manager James Horan, Mayo had managed to retain their Division One status in the National League, but their performances were nothing exceptional and having just about avoided an embarrassing championship exit to the Exiles, there was little or no confidence behind Alan Dillon and company. An average team with serious doubts about their character wasn’t expected to go places.

Having survived that major fright against London, Mayo hosted Galway in the provincial semifinal at McHale Park in late June.

It was a bad game between what looked two bad teams and the home fans were hardly overjoyed with the half-time situation – trailing by four points after Paul Conroy had grabbed an opportunist goal for the Tribesmen.

Mind you, Mayo would have the backing of the wind on the resumption and with Galway, incredibly, only managing a solitary point over the entire second-half, they gradually assumed control with an Alan Freeman goal helping them to a comfortable 1-12 to 1-6 victory.

Mayo were back in the Connacht final and though marginal favourites to beat title holders Roscommon in Hyde Park, nobody seemed to be too excited.

Again the weather intervened to impact on the standard of football and again Mayo had to come back from a four point interval deficit. The accuracy of Cillian O’Connor was to prove a vital plank in their eventual narrow victory and Mayo were the kings of Connacht again.

There was little hype, however, about the achievement with some neutral observers more interested in condemning the overall quality of the fare in the province.

As a result, Mayo had a low profile build up to last Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Cork.

The reigning champions appeared to be striking form at the right time following their convincing victory over Down and though injuries were taking their toll on the team’s forward division, nobody could envisage the new Connacht title holders pulling off to what has amounted as the GAA shock of the year.

Mayo could have been backed at 11/2 to come through their latest Croke Park date with the Rebels and when Cork stormed into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead, thanks chiefly to Donncha O’Connor’s early penalty, there were fears that they might suffer a hammering reminiscent of the 1993 All-Ireland semi-final between the teams – a day Cork amassed 5-15.

But Mayo didn’t wilt this time.

All over the field, they hung in there and with wing forward Kevin McLaughlin landing a priceless goal following a penetrating run,

they thundered back into the game.

Though Paul Kerrigan went on to raise another green flag for Cork before the interval, Mayo had survived their early crisis, only trailing by 2-5 to 1-6 at the interval.

Naturally, they still had it all or do – or so we thought – but, at least, the modest crowd of less than 23,000 in GAA headquarters were getting a competitive game.

Incredibly, Cork would only manage a solitary point in the second-half when John Miskella’s fisted effort in the 52nd minute brought the teams level after Enda Varley ( free), goalkeeper Robert Hennelly (45) and Dillon had all raised white flags to send Mayo to the front.

Fintan Goold then missed a great goal chance for a Cork team which looked flat and battle weary, and had no answer to the winners’ final quarter surge.

This was a marvellous achievement for Mayo and their team management, led by the low key Horan, and the fact that there was

so little hype about them in advance of the match was perfect.

The relatively small turn-out of Mayo fans in Croke Park tells its own story – some of them were even afraid that their team might lose heavily – but the underdogs tore up the script with a purposeful and confident effort.

For more see John McIntyre’s Inside Track in this week’s 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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Teenage Kicks hard to beat Ð unless youÕre Eden Hazard



Date Published: 28-Jan-2013

A receiver has been appointed to Greenstar, which operates Kilconnell dump near Ballinasloe with a staff of approximately 15

The company has a workforce of 800 across the country in collecting waste from 80 thousand households and 12 thousand businesses

It is part of the NTR group which last month (july) published a report stating its subsidiary Greenstar will close its nationwide landfills over the next three years unless prices improve

However in a statement today the board of Greenstar said it wanted to express its disappointment at what it called the ‘unexpected’ move of the appointment of a receiver

The company said it was regrettable that its lenders have chosen to take this action – as the company has not missed any scheduled repayments and is in a strong cash position to continue trading for the foreseeable future

Business Analyst Ian Guider says Greenstar feels there was no need for the banks to take this drastic measure

Continue Reading

Archive News

Galway loses a vibrant voice with the passing of Tony Small



Date Published: 31-Jan-2013

With the passing of Tony Small, Galway has lost a truly vibrant voice. Growing up the son of a tailor in Corrandulla, Tony was reared in a musical house. His brother Jackie was the host of RTÉ 1’s The Long Note, and is also a piper and accordion player of some repute.

Over 30 years ago, Mick Crehan, who runs The Crane Bar, struck up a friendship with Tony Small.

“The first time I met Tony I was playing with an outfit, we were touring around Germany,” he recalls. “Tony was playing with The Wild Geese. They were huge in Germany at that time. There was Tony, Peadar Howley, Norman White, Christy Delaney, Mick Ryan and later Eoin Duignan. They were wild in every way! Tony was a great frontman, a tremendous voice.”

At the time, De Dannan and The Bothy Band were also touring Germany, but as Mick says, ‘The Geese were always top of the bill.’ Tony had a deep affinity with Irish traditional music, but he also put his own spin on it.

“Tony had an extra quality that I find hard to put into words,” says Mick. “He had a vast repertoire of traditional songs and ballads, plus he was writing his own. He had great respect for tradition, but he always added something extra. He bred new life into old songs; he was very innovative.”

“I’d put Tony in the same league as Andy Irvine, who I have tremendous respect for. Andy did things with traditional music that I don’t think have been improved upon. Tony had that type of approach to the songs as well.

Tony Small and Gerry Carthy played the very first gig in The Crane back over 33 years ago. The occasion was re-lived at the beginning of January, when Tony and Gerry played together once more.

“Luckily for Tony, shortly before he died, Gerry was over from the States,” says Mick . “We had a gig here with Gerry, Tony, Jackie, and Sean Tyrell was here, and Johnny Mulhern, and Eugene Lamb, the piper. A fantastic gathering of old buddies.”

Last year, Tony Small released Mandolin Mountain. Recorded in Dingle by Donogh Hennessy from Lunasa, it saw Tony at the peak of his powers.

“It’s definitely his best work,” says Mick. “Nearly all the songs are written by Tony – or re-written. I had the privilege of launching it and writing the notes. There’s a huge variety of stuff on it, there’s philosophical songs, travellers’ songs, rakish songs, very deep songs. I think it gives you a picture of Tony and what he liked, and a very good picture of himself.”

Tony Small took a delight in music that was infectious. In an interview with the Connacht Tribune last November, he reflected on a lifetime’s playing.

“I’m able to sing and I’m able to play a bit,” Tony said. “I’m no virtuoso, but I love doing it. And I love sharing it. I do the best I can. What more can I do?”

Tony Small loved playing music, and had an effect that will endure beyond his lifetime. The Galway music scene has lost a truly gifted player. As Mick Crehan says, “he’ll be really missed.”

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads