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No second chances in Tipp tangle



Date Published: {J}


When Galway last faced Tipperary in an All-Ireland quarter-final – the 2005 championship – the headline on the preview piece in the Connacht Tribune in the lead-up to the game simply read: ‘Time for Galway to stand up’. For all intents and purposes, that battle cry is just as apt today as it was five years ago.

Indeed, in light of the Tribesmen’s disappointing display against Kilkenny in the Leinster final, what the class of 2010 would give for a similar response – Galway won that ’05 All-Ireland quarter-final joust on a scoreline of 2-20 to 2-18 – when the two counties meet at Croke Park this Sunday (4pm).

To do that, Galway senior hurling manager John McIntyre believes his charges will need to “bring serious intensity” to GAA headquarters. “Tipperary comfortably disposed of Offaly (in the qualifiers) in Portlaoise last weekend (0-21 to 1-12), where it took us two games to get over Offaly, and we were at the pin of our collar to do so,” says McIntyre.

“So, we have it all to do. Tipperary are generally regarded as the second best team in the country, so if we don’t bring serious intensity to Croke Park on Sunday it is going to be difficult to get a result.”

It is amazing to think, though, that given the prominence of these two great foes that this will be their first meeting since ’05. In all, Galway and Tipperary have gone head to head 24 times, with the Premier County securing results on 18 occasions and the Westerners winning just six.

Galway’s first win over the primrose and gold was in the 1924 All-Ireland semi-final. Incredibly, they would not record another victory over the same opposition until Cyril Farrell’s charges edged beyond them, on a scoreline of 3-20 to 2-17, in the 1987 All-Ireland semi-final.

In many respects, that game – a first championship meeting since 1971 – reignited an old rivalry. Since 1987, inclusive, Galway and Tipperary have faced each other 10 times, with each claiming five victories apiece. That alone would suggest there will be little between the sides this weekend.

There is also the fact that both counties have failed to fire in the current championship, with Tipperary losing to Cork in their Munster opener, before easing beyond subdued Wexford and Offaly sides in the qualifiers, while Galway stumbled beyond the same opponents before surrendering meekly to Kilkenny in the Leinster decider.

Indeed, it will be intriguing to observe the manner in which Galway respond to that defeat to the All-Ireland champions. Since then, they have taken a week-long break, returning to their respective clubs for championship action, before regrouping for a training camp away at Johnstown House, Enfield last week.

“The training camp went well, but it is inside those four white lines that it has to count,” states Galway boss McIntyre. “Tipperary is our next big game and it presents us with an opportunity for redemption after the defeat to Kilkenny. It is an opportunity that we are determined to take.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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