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O’Leary shows nerves of steel from late free



Date Published: 17-Sep-2009

IT was by no means a classic, but this drawn preliminary quarter-final between Liam Mellows and Ardrahan created enough suspense in the dying moments to entertain a modest crowd at Kenny Park on Sunday.
The real talking point, of course, was the return to championship action of former Galway captain David Collins from a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury. The talented wing-back marked his return by producing an impressive display while also striking over seven points from placed balls.
Indeed, the marksmanship of Collins was instrumental in securing some form of a result, although if Mellows had lost this clash it would have been somewhat of an injustice as they were marginally the better team over the hour.
As noted, though, it was only marginal. Both teams, particularly in the forward division, lacked a cutting edge, underlined by the fact that Mellows and Ardrahan only scored 1-3 and 1-2 from play respectively throughout the contest.
In truth, there was never much between the two sides. A Joseph O’Leary free in the opening minute got Ardrahan off the mark, but Paddy Kirwan’s charges drew first blood when a neat flick from Collins initiated a swift move that led to Niall McInerney setting up Aonghus Callanan for a great goal on eight minutes.
Throughout, Callanan looked like he could pose significant problems for Ardrahan but, all in all, he was under-utilised by Mellows. Just as an aside, there is something shameful that Callanan had to line out for Mellows on Sunday afternoon and afterwards had to rush across to Tuam Stadium to aid Salthill/Knocknacarra in their county senior football semi-final.
The season is long enough and, once again, the manner in which our national games are run at local level needs to be addressed. Before the ‘powers that be’ start dialling the Tribune switchboard, this is not a cut at Galway officialdom alone, as other County Boards the length and breadth of the country are just as guilty. It is, arguably, an indictment of the organisation as a whole.
Back to the action, and Ardrahan’s response to Callanan’s clinical finish was rapid. Corner forward Maurice Callanan, collecting a massive clearance from Gerard Bond, pointed within moments to cut the deficit to one and while Shane Minton fired over a free for the City side shortly after, Ardrahan subsequently took the lead with a goal of their own on 12 minutes.
It was centre-forward John Greene who made the decisive break to set up the goal opportunity, with the lively Ger Hennelly pulling first time on the delivery to the Mellows net. By this stage, the contest had begun to warm up and two Shane Minton frees towards the end of the first quarter nudged Mellows into the lead once again.

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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