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Meehan set to start for Galway



Date Published: {J}


GALWAY footballers are hoping that Michael Meehan will start – and that Nicky Joyce could be introduced at some stage – during Saturday evening’s Connacht semi-final replay against Sligo in Markievicz Park (6pm).

While both players are ‘going easy’ on any training this week, the Galway management are hopeful that when they sit down tonight (Thursday) to pick the team, the high scoring duo will be okay for the weekend.

Meehan seems pretty certain to start, with his knee problem having cleared up completely, although there are always concerns over hamstring trouble in the aftermath of such injuries.

The Caltra player, while not figuring on the scoresheet when coming on last Sunday in Pearse Stadium, certainly set off the alarm bells in the Sligo defence and was fouled for the last free which led to Gareth Bradshaw’s equalising point.

Joyce’s damaged kneecap is also reported to be responding well to treatment and if he doesn’t ‘make the start’ on Saturday, he certainly could be sprung at some stage.

Galway will be hoping for a massive improvement from last Sunday, after pulling off one of the most audacious draws of recent times, having trailed by nine points at half-time, and five points with full time almost up.

While the possible return of Meehan and Joyce will be a major boost to their attack, Galway’s main area of homework this week will be to try and remedy their midfield problems which were at their most acute in the second quarter of the match.

If Galway can secure a decent supply of primary possession, then the forward zip is definitely there with Padraic Joyce in great form last Sunday.

Galway selector Seán Ó Dómhnaill – and midfield kingpin along with Sligo manager Kevin Walsh in the ’98 All-Ireland success against Kildare – feels that last Sunday’s match will bring on the team a long way.

“Of course we were disappointed with the performance last Sunday but we really have been starved of competitive matches and a game like last Sunday is invaluable to us.

“Training has gone well and we’ve played our challenges but there is really no substitute for competitive games – the team that improves most this week will win Saturday’s evening’s game, and I believe that will be Galway,” said Ó Dómhnaill.

He also emphasised that Sligo probably weren’t being given enough credit for their progression as a good team over the past few years.

“They have won back to back league titles over the last two years, they were within a kick of the ball of beating Kerry last year, and they had a convincing win over Mayo in the first round.

For more, read this week’s Galway 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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