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Meehan Galway’s Main Injury Concern

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 08-Jul-2008

WING back Declan Meehan continues to be Galway’s main injury worry in the run-up to Sunday’s Connacht final clash against Mayo in Castlebar (2.0).

The Caltra speed merchant damaged a hamstring in training the week before last and has been on intensive treatment since – however, management only give him a 50-50 chance of being fit for the big match of the year in Connacht football.

Also sidelined is Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s Damien Dunleavy with a broken bone in his foot, while midfielder Joe Bergin is still ruled out with the Achilles tendon rupture he suffered late in the league campaign.

However the recovery signs are very good for the Mountbellew midfielder as he has returned to light training and he should be back pushing for a return in the post Mayo scenario . . . whether that be the quarter-finals or qualifiers.

Although there are some other niggly injury worries, Galway manager Liam Sammon will be hoping that they will have sorted themselves out by the weekend.

Kieran Fitzgerald, Diarmuid Blake and Niall Coyne are all back on the fit list which will give management plenty of food for thought when they sit down this evening to settle on the final 15.

Barry Cullinane looks a certain starter at midfield after making a big impression when coming on against Leitrim in Pearse Stadium while the bankers in attack will be the Joyce cousins, Matthew Clancy and Michael Meehan.

John O’Mahony has managed to maintain a relatively low profile for his Mayo charges and as Galway know – from both sides of the fence – the Ballaghderreen man is a real master in terms of getting a team to peak for the big day.

Rather worryingly from a Galway point of view, they have won their last two ‘big’ games against Mayo – in the Connacht championship last year at Pearse Stadium and in the league this Spring in Castlebar.

Very seldom does either of those teams manager a three-ina- row of victories over the other. Mayo mightn’t exactly have set the league alight this year but a modest points total at the end of the campaign masked a positive enough early season period for them.

They were genuinely unlucky to lose out to Galway and Donegal but they showed fair pedigree to beat Kerry in McHale Park and all through the league O’Mahony was laying solid foundation blocks for the Summer.

Kieran Conroy and David Heaney backbone a solid defence; Ronan McGarrity and Tom Parsons are a decent midfield pair while up front Pat Harte gives them a bit of ball winning power with the Mortimer
brothers and Austin O’Malley all capable of delivering the direct hits.

Players like Alan Dillon, Aidan Kilcoyne, Billy Joe Padden and Mark Ronaldson are also waiting on the wings should the need arise – Mayo are picking from quite a strong pool.

Galway manager, Liam Sammon, is quietly…

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

BallinasloeÕs young squad aiming to floor Armagh junior champs

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

A new chapter in the history of Ballinasloe football will be written at Breffni Park, Cavan, on Sunday when Sean Riddell’s young side take on Ulster champions An Port Mor of Armagh in the All-Ireland Junior semi-final (2pm).

It’s the first competitive game outside the province of Connacht in 33 years for Galway football’s ‘sleeping giant’ with the enticing prospect of an appearance at Croke Park on February 9 on offer for the winners of what should be a competitive tie.

Ballinasloe have romped through Connacht since overcoming a couple of tricky hurdles on their way to collecting the Galway junior title, which was their target for the campaign this time last year.

With a return to Intermediate football secured, Riddell’s youngsters really have nothing to lose – while their triumphant march to county and provincial titles has revived memories of the club’s glory days when they contested three Galway senior finals in a row between 1979 and ’81.

Intriguingly, the seniors of St Grellan’s never got to play in Croke Park when they reached the All-Ireland final back in 1980 – they lost by 3-9 to 0-8 to St Finbarr’s of Cork in Tipperary Town.

This team’s progression has provided rich rewards for an abundance of hard work at underage levels in the past ten to 15 years and the current side’s ‘do or die’ attitude was very much in evidence in the cliffhanger wins over Tuam and Clifden in the domestic championship.


They are a well-balanced side who really never know when they are beaten and have an inspirational leader in county panelist Keith Kelly, whose exploits at centre back have been among the key components in their dramatic run to reach the All-Ireland series.

Riddell, who recalls playing senior football with the club during their heyday, is determined to get Ballinasloe back among the county’s leading clubs but, for the moment, he is delighted just to have a shot at getting to Croke Park in a bid to emulate Clonbur’s achievement in winning the title outright last year.

Riddell went to Newry on a ‘spying mission’ to see the Armagh champions overcome Brackaville of Tyrone by 2-9 to 0-11 in November – and was impressed by the quality of the football produced by An Port Mor in the Ulster final.

“They are a nicely balanced side who play good football,” he said. “There was a bit of the physical stuff you’d expect from two Ulster side, but I was impressed by their performance.”

An Port Mor became the first Armagh side to win the provincial junior decider. First half goals from Shane Nugent and Christopher Lennon sent them on the road to victory, before a red card for Brackaville captain Cahir McGuinness eased their progress to the All-Ireland series.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Coalition promised an ocean of reform Ð but the wind has gone out of its sails

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 30-Jan-2013


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