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Molloy’s late points save Brigid’s boys from shock defeat

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

St. Brigid’s VS 1-18

Athenry VS 3-12

STEPHEN GLENNON AT DUGGAN PARK

IT took two late Brian Molloy points to save reigning All-Ireland champions, St. Brigid’s VS from the ignominy of defeat having been pushed all the way by a determined Athenry VS in this hugely entertaining Connacht Vocational Schools senior hurling final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe on Saturday.

Although St. Brigid’s had dominated for long periods, a 58th minute goal from Clarinbridge sharpshooter and man of the match Barry Keane secured Athenry VS the lead for the first time of the game as they now held a 3-12 to 1-16 advantage.

It looked as if a major shock was on the cards but then up stepped Molloy with two super scores from play on 59 minutes and the second minute of injury-time to spare the blushes of a St. Brigid’s outfit which, really and truly, did not play to their full potential.

Still, Athenry VS deserved to get something out of this contest. So many times, St. Brigid’s threatened to open them up, but they hung on in there and with Keane – tallying 2-9 on the day – in scintillating form, they always gave themselves a chance of getting a result.

For the most part, though, St. Brigid’s looked the better side and after just 14 minutes they led 1-6 to 0-4. The goal arrived nearing the conclusion of the first quarter when a long delivery broke inside and St. Thomas’ Gerald Kelly was onto it in a flash and he made no mistake with his finish.

With Molloy (two frees), Jamie Ryan (2), Darragh Dolan and Brian Dolan all registering some neat points, St. Brigid’s were great value for their five-point lead; particularly given Athenry VS were wholly reliant on Keane’s dead ball accuracy.

Indeed, it took 16 minutes before Athenry registered their first point from play through outstanding midfielder Sean Linnane and that score seemed to stir the passion in his team-mates as the challengers hit Brigid’s for 1-2 in a three-minute spell.

Brian Dolan did post another great point in this frantic spell, but it was the Athenry goal that elevated this contest to something far beyond mediocrity and predictability. Keane did the spadework along the end line and when he dinked the sliotar teasingly across the goalmouth, Abbeyknockmoy’s Dean Keary was on hand to scoop the ball to the net, albeit at the second attempt.

That 19th minute goal reduced the deficit to just one, 1-7 to 1-6, and really fired up proceedings as both sides traded points throughout the remainder of the half. Eanna Burke, Brian Dolan – with his third – and Darragh Dolan were on the mark for Brigid’s while Keane – who else? – responded in kind with two frees and another from play.

It meant that St. Brigid’s – laden down with All-Ireland winners and marquee names – were just one point ahead at the break, although, admittedly, they would have a decent wind at their backs heading into the second period.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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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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