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Moycullen finish in a blaze of glory

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 18-Dec-2009

MOYCULLEN basketballers made it three wins in a row on Saturday in Leitir Mór when they recovered from a poor start and, inspired by the magnificent defence on the ball of James Loughnane, they slowly closed the gap, eventually taking the lead early in the fourth quarter and easing to a comfortable victory.

It’s a sign of a team that is coming of age at the Superleague level that, despite a poor shooting performance (partly attributed to the unusual ‘home’ venue), they were able to dominate defensively and shut down a dangerous Hoops team. They halved the output of 6’ 8’, 350 lb Carlton Aaron from the first game with their ball pressure on the Hoops guards a significant factor.

Moycullen now have a chance to measure their progress against league leaders, UL Eagles on Saturday in UL. Having lost the first encounter by 15 in Galway, they will hope to be much closer and maybe even sneak a surprise win. With three victories in a row behind them, confidence is high and it would be a great way to go into the short Christmas break.

Saturday’s game saw Moycullen mirror their poor start in Cork against Demons as they slipped to a 10-0 deficit.

In fairness, Hoops came out gunning with Gary Grace (2) and Joey Haastrup connecting on early three pointers. Cian Nihill got his team’s first score and Dylan Cunningham connected on a three as Moycullen looked to dig themselves out of the early hole.

However, Hoops confidence was up and Aaron connected on his first score and Kamil Janiszewski knocked down another three for the visitors. Five points from James Loughnane narrowed the gap but the deficit was 21-14 at the quarter’s end.

The second quarter saw Moycullen up the defensive pressure. Loughnane and Mike Dowd did a tremendous job of pressuring the Hoops guards and they forced a number of turnovers and eight second violations. Meanwhile, Cian Nihill and Mindaugus were containing Phil Taylor and Haastrup well while Nate Fritsch fought manfully against Aaron.

However, the defence was not rewarded at the other end as the team struggled to make a decent percentage of their open shots.

Arguably, they had too much time in a lot of instances and were thinking a little too much about the options. Whatever the reason,

despite an impressive defensive show, they still trailed by five at the half, 34-29.

The third quarter was again a frustrating one for the home team. Their defence was again superb, with Loughnane in particular like a wasp in front of the Hoops guards. Nihill and Fritsch continued to chip away on the scoring front with Fritsch finally finding his range from the three point line.

However, Haastrup slipped in for two easy baskets on missed rotations and Aaron, while well guarded, still managed eight points in the quarter.

When Phil Taylor finally escaped the excellent defence of Cian Nihill to connect on seven points to end the quarter, it looked like, despite their superb defensive efforts, Moycullen were going to come up short again as they trailed by five, 53-48.

However, the fourth quarter saw the pieces eventually fall into place. The defensive pressure broke Hoops and Moycullen converted on the break as the impressive Dylan Cunningham and James Loughnane combined for seven points. Cian Nihill nailed a three and when Mindaugus levelled the game at 60-60 with his first score, there was only going to be one outcome.

Hoops could only manage a further four points while Moycullen tagged on another 12. Nate Fritsch showed his worth to the team as, despite a poor return from the three point line, he kept his concentration, never dropped his head, and went six from six from the free throw line to ice the game. In the end, the winning margin of eight points, 72-64 did little to flatter the home team.

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

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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