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Odds strongly favour Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 21-Jan-2010

IT is Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry’s turn to see if they can make a successful bid for the All-Ireland intermediate club hurling title when they face Ulster champions St. Gall’s in the penultimate stages of the championship at Parnell Park on Saturday (2:30pm).

After previous Galway contenders, such as Tommie Larkins, Killimordaly and Cappataggle, failed to make the breakthrough, the opportunity now falls to the amalgamated club to write its name into the history books.

Unsurprisingly, the inclement weather conditions of recent months have hampered Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry’s preparations, with the icy spell in early January, in particular, having a significant impact.

“Obviously, we had planned to play a series of challenge matches early in the New Year, so our match schedule was interrupted by the frosty weather,” outlines team mentor Mattie Kenny. “But it was the same for all teams across the country.

“We did get to play GMIT in Parteen last week, and we were happy to get the guys out hurling again. We also played NUIG in Tynagh on Sunday, so at least we have those games behind us.”

With no injuries of note to report, Kenny and his management cohorts of Tom Havil, Tom Brehony, Gerry Madden, Tom Moloney and PJ Kenny can call on the likes of goalkeeper Kevin Devine, defenders Liam Hodgins, Karl Kavanagh and Padraig Shiel, midfielders Anthony Burke and Ger Burke, and forwards Ronan Madden, Colm Larkin, Brian Cunningham and Michael Dervan. Of course, former Galway star Kevin Broderick, an impact sub in the Galway championship, adds another dimension to the East Galway club’s play.

No doubt, Tynagh/Abbey- Duniry were hugely impressive in the manner by which they claimed both county and provincial titles in 2009. A 2-10 to 1-7 victory over Kilconieron in the county semi-final set up an intriguing meeting with Meelick-Eyrecourt in the decider. Indeed, it took a Colm Larkin injury-time goal to save Tynagh’s title aspirations and earn them a second bite of the cherry.

The replay was just as unforgiving, going to extra-time, but in the end Tynagh/Abbey- Duniry pulled through as Ronan Madden tallied 1-5 from placed balls in their 1-20 to 1- 16 win.

Just 24 hours later, the Galway champions added the provincial title to the trophy cabinet, when defeating Mayo rivals Ballyhaunis on a scoreline of 1-19 to 0-12 in the final in Athleague. Brian Cunningham was Tynagh/Abbey- Duniry’s top scorer on the day with seven points, two from frees.

Meanwhile, St. Gall’s strolled to the Ulster intermediate hurling title. After accounting for Shane O’Neill’s 4-11 to 2-6 in the county semi-final, they hit a speed bump against local rivals Lamh Dhearg in the decider, when a long range free from Antrim football star Paddy Cunningham denied them victory.

However, St. Gall’s made no mistake in the replay less than a fortnight later, winning 0-18 to 1-7 to claim the silverware …and a quarter-final place against Lisbellaw of Fermanagh in the Ulster championship.

As it was, their Ulster sojourn was to pose little difficulty to the Belfast outfit, with the Antrim champions recording a 6-16 to 1-6 win over Lisbellaw before they hammered Eoghan Ruadh of Tyrone 5-15 to 1-6 in the penultimate stages.

This set up an Ulster final meeting with Middletown of Armagh, who had accounted for Liatroim of Down in their semi-final fixture. Again, St. Gall’s impressed, registering a 14-point victory, 5-11 to 0-12, with Sean McAreavey tallying a massive 4-4 of his outfit’s total.

Those four goals were netted in a 10-minute spell and underlined the utter destruction St. Gall’s can cause if given the time and space. In any event, those scores effectively quashed the challenge of Middletown and secured St. Gall’s their first ever Ulster hurling championship title.

Of course, it is a big month for St. Gall’s, who have also an All-Ireland senior football semifinal clash against Galway and Connacht champions Corofin looming large on the horizon. As expected, there is a certain amount of cross pollination between the two panels, with the likes of Anto Healy, Kieran and Conor McGourty and Aodhan and Ciaran Gallagher excelling in both codes.

No doubt, St. Gall’s – who certainly have the Midas touch in front of goals, scoring no less than 16 in their three provincial games alone – will harbour genuine ambitions of taking the scalp of the Galway champions on Saturday.

However, one suspects Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry boost a far greater pedigree than any of the sides the Antrim men have faced so far … and that is no disrespect to the fantastic work being done in hurling circles in the northern province – and the Galway champions look banker material here.


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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Archive News

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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