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Monivea men miss out on AIL qualification again



Date Published: {J}

Rob Murphy

MONIVEA have missed out on the All Ireland League for another year after they were beaten resoundingly 33-7 by Seapoint at the Castle Grounds on Saturday in a game where only a bonus point win would have kept alive their hopes.

Losing twice in a week on home soil by big margins will lead many to surmise that they were a long way short of what was required, but it doesn’t begin to paint the full picture.

For starters the bonus point victory over Richmond in round one shows their credentials. That game had originally being scheduled for round two, but changes were made to the fixture list to accomodate City of Derry who had come through a manic run of games to take the Ulster title on the previous Monday evening in a play off with Armagh.


The Ulster champions have huge resources and were favourites for promotion but a plucky Seapoint toppled them up north in round one to put them on the back foot. They then came down to Galway fully focused on staying alive in the competition with no hope of complacency the following Saturday.

Monivea needed them to be a little switched off, that didn’t happen and the 33-18 scoreline says it all. That all left the Connacht champions needing a bonus point win against unbeaten Seapoint without key front row players Cathal Divilly and Fergus Farrell among others and desperately seeking momentum. The Dublin side had all the energy.

All that is not to say that Monivea should have gone up. No question about it, they were beaten by two better sides (City of Derry qualified for a play off, Seapoint won promotion) but it does explain why such heavy defeats were inflicted. Had the sides met in round one, Monivea would have mounted a much stronger challenge.

So where to now? Much like Seapoint, Monivea have withstood the urge to look beyond the catchment area for solutions and judging by the influx of talent on the horizon from a promising under 19s league winning side, they don’t need to deviate from that.

Time and again they have fought back from disappointment. Next year the challenge from Sligo in Connacht could be a little stronger as well, but another big push in the All Ireland Junior Cup should be a priority too as it gives them valuable game time outside the provinces.

Kevin Higgins got their try on Saturday to put them 7-6 ahead after 30 minutes but a Brian Keegan penalty and Stephen Verso’s try after some poor defending turned the game on its head before the the break. The challenge sparked again after half time but nothing came from it and a superbly well drilled Seapoint cut loose.

Monivea’s plight merely highlights once again the desperate need for a restructure of the Connacht Junior leagues. The power here lies with the clubs and some fresh thinking is needed. A 12 team top division is too big and doesn’t foster good competition, an eight team home and away format is a must if the club game is to move forward at that level.

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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