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No place to hide as football title race in the final furlong



Date Published: 16-Aug-2012

 It may have been a disappointing season on the inter-county scene for Galway football, but that should take nothing away from what promises to be an exciting conclusion to the senior and intermediate club football championships.

No doubt, there is some fantastic fare on offer this coming weekend, with county champions Corofin facing pretenders to the throne St. James in a quarter-final clash that should serve up some very attractive, free-flowing football.

Of course, St. James’ have already wounded Corofin this year when claiming the U-21 ‘A’ crown with an emphatic victory, but they will find the freedom of the park they enjoyed on that occasion will not be as forthcoming at Tuam Stadium on Sunday.

If the prospect of that game doesn’t tingle the senses, then the derby meeting of Tuam Stars and Milltown immediately afterwards should. Speaking to both camps this week, it was palpable just how much both sides want to win this game as much as they don’t want to lose it. Parish rivalry at its best.

Earlier in the day, Connemara invades Pearse Stadium as Micheál Breathnach look to put pay to Killererin’s aspirations of reclaiming the Frank Fox Cup while An Cheathrú Rua will look to advance beyond a stage of the competition that they have failed to do so in recent years when they face a fancied Salthill/Knocknacarra outfit. However, a Connemara double may be a stretch too far.

The intermediate championship has also plenty to offer, with 2011 finalists Oughterard facing Corofin’s second string in Pearse Stadium on Saturday (6:45pm) while, at the same time, Dunmore MacHales will look to advance at the expense of an improving Athenry team at Tuam Stadium.

The following day, at Tuam Stadium (3:15pm), All-Ireland junior club champions Clonbur have the daunting task of upsetting championship contenders Monivea/Abbey – an outfit, who along with Carna Caiseal, play their league football in the senior ranks and already this year have recorded wins over Killererin and St. James in the league. Still, Clonbur will not be that easily dismissed.

In the concluding intermediate championship quarterfinal of the weekend, Carna Caiseal meet a Menlough side that has been going quite well in Division 2A of the league under the direction of trainer and Galway ladies footballer Edel Concannon. They lie just a point behind leaders St. Michael’s, Caltra and Oughterard, all of whom are on nine points. That game takes place at Pearse Stadium at 5:30pm.

For a preview of each of the senior fixtures see this week’s 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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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