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Only thing that matters Ð hurlers are still standing

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Date Published: 18-Apr-2012

LET’S be honest about it, the vast majority of Galway supporters expected the county hurlers to be beaten in Sunday’s Division One relegation play-off against Dublin at Tullamore. The legacy of the recent Kilkenny hammering and the disappointing home loss to Waterford had created a negative environment and resulted in a small following for the team in O’Connor Park.

Against that background, the fact that Galway are still standing is a result in every sense of the word, especially as they were in a major hole when trailing by five points early in the second-half after Conor McCormack had goaled for Dublin. To the players’ credit, they rolled up their sleeves with Tony Og Regan, Iarla Tannian, in a new midfield role, Cyril Donnellan and the returning Joe Canning leading the fightback.

A flurry of points from Galway actually enabled them to take the lead midway through the second-half, but a Ross O’Carroll goal in the 57th minute – a score which again exposed problems in the full back line – regained the initiative for Dublin. Subsequently, when John McCaffrey put them three clear in the 69th minute, the game appeared up for the Tribesmen and, in the process, a return to Division Two hurling for the first time in over 20 years.

Somehow (and admirably), Galway rescued a dire situation. Canning fired over two close range frees before a terrific delivery by Tannian was pounced on by the Portumna man who splits the posts with a classic effort to send the match into extra time. The momentum was now with Anthony Cunningham’s squad, particularly as Ryan O’Dwyer, whose disciplinary record leaves something to be desired, was dismissed by referee Barry Kelly for an off-the-ball incident within seconds of the action resuming.

Two more Canning frees and an effort from the hard working Donnellan left Galway 0-24 to 2-16 in front after the first period of extra time. By that juncture, Dublin had imploded from a discipline perspective as another attacker, Alan McCrabbe, was red carded for a wild pull on David Collins. 15 against 13, two points ahead, you’d have expected Galway to comfortably close out the game from there.

 

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way despite further Galway points from James Regan and last year’s minor Jonathan Glynn. With so many substitutions and players losing their sense of position, the match surrendered much of its structure and that helped a gritty Dublin to pull off an unlikely draw with late scores from two reserves, Daire Plunkett and Niall McMorrow, who kept his nerve from a 65 with virtually the last puck of the game.

In the circumstances, the Dubs had got out of jail and they remain dangerous opponents in Saturday’s replay even if McCrabbe and O’Dwyer will be sidelined for that match. Once again, their overall physicality had Galway in trouble, but it’s not the first time that the team’s discipline is coming under scrutiny. A couple of their players are living on the margins and while it’s one thing to be tough and fearless, it’s quite another to be reckless and dangerous. Anthony Daly has problems to sort out but, overall, he was surely relieved that Dublin hadn’t already been consigned in Division Two.

Regardless of Galway’s failure to close the deal, this spirited performance was still a significant step forward compared to recent outings. Dublin may not be Kilkenny, but they are dogged opponents and are not easy to subdue. Canning being declared fit enough to start must have been a huge lift for Galway and he had a stormer, shooting 12 points in total, including some cracking efforts from play.

 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

Dressing up kids is child’s play for Olive

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Date Published: 21-Feb-2013

It’s not many retail businesses that can boast of staying afloat in these recessionary times but the only children’s boutique in the city is in its 25th year.

Owner Olive Kinneen can’t quite believe that it’s been almost a quarter of a century since she opened Klassy Kids in Cross Street.

That street and surrounding streets in the city were practically derelict until a Government tax incentive in the late 1980s encouraged the purchase at what were a series of empty warehouses to turn them into retail or business units.

Olive and her husband Des, both from Loughrea, were living in a townhouse around the corner off Middle Street and they both loved city life.

After the birth of their first child, Zara, Olive decided she wasn’t returning to her civil service job in the Social Welfare Department and after months of enjoying being a first-time mum, she decided she would open a nursery store.

Des had bought the building under the Section 23 scheme and they set about renovating it and then stocking it with baby clothes and some nursery items. That was just coming up to Christmas 25 years ago. At around the same time too they bought their family home in Salthill.

“There wasn’t any other shop specialising in children’s clothes in the city at the time. It was a great novelty but soon after opening, I realised that I hadn’t enough space for the nursery items so I decided to concentrate on clothes.

“And being a first-time mother to a little girl, I loved buying the clothes and obviously there were lots of mothers like me who liked dressing up the children in lovely, bright clothes.

“When I started I didn’t know anything about retail or about planning ahead – right now we are ordering for next winter. But there were some lovely agents working for the clothing companies when I started out and they helped me out and I suppose showed me the way,” says Olive.

There were other shops around the city selling children’s as well as adults’ clothes but when Klassy Kids opened, it was the only boutique for children, from babies to teenagers of up to 16, though Olive has noticed that the biggest part of her sales are for those aged between three and 10.

Back then, she wasn’t long getting to know the retail business and during the boom years she saw an opening for a shop geared at teenagers, K2, on the same street. That has since closed.

She is the first to admit that she hadn’t a long-term plan when she opened Klassy Kids but because it was a specialist shop it has stood the test of time.

It is a credit to Olive as owner of the business to have kept its doors open when there was uncertainty in the economy, but she says steady sales are the key to their success.

“I had great customers, some of them from Donegal and Cork who, when they couldn’t come to Galway themselves, would ring me and order gift boxes to be sent to family and friends having babies. They trusted my judgement and I kept to their budget.

“I remember one woman returned from London and she was disgusted when she saw an outfit on our rails just like one she had bought in Harrods!

“And I still have customers coming back to me now as grandmothers buying for their grandchildren. They are some of my best customers!” she says.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Archive News

February 28, 2013

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Date Published: 27-Feb-2013

1913

Sheep scab

At Athenry Petty Sessions, Sergt. Maher summoned a defendant for failing to notify the prevalence of scab in his sheep. The complainant deposed that on February 1st he found 14 sheep suffering from scab. Some of them were getting better, and the wool was coming off a number of them.

Chairman: Is he a big farmer? – He is not.

Chairman: Why didn’t the defendant give notice? – I asked him the question, and he said he was doing his best to cure them. I caught him in the act of dressing the sheep.

The complainant mentioned there was a second case against another farmer whose land adjoined the defendant’s in the previous case. He found six sheep, the property of the defendant (John Ward), suffering from scab. Two were recovering and four were really bad. Defendant had sixty-five sheep altogether.

Defendant stated that he did not know it was obligatory on him to report the matter to the police.

Chairman: The public must be protected. – a fine of 10s and costs was imposed in each case.

1938

Bombing of slums

In a discussion on their proposed new housing scheme at Ballinasloe Urban Council, the Chairman, Mr. Michael Connolly, said the clearing of these sites would be costly. He saw in a newspaper where in England councils were asking the aero clubs to clear, or bomb, old slum dwellings, just for practice for the airmen.

He wondered if it would be advisable to ask the Irish Aero Club to clear Ballinasloe’s old slums in the same way. It would be a cheap way of getting them done (laughter).

Modern day ‘evils’

Present-day social dangers are referred to in the Lenten Pastoral Letters read in the churches throughout Ireland on Sunday. The Bishops of Ireland advise the people as to how they should combat these dangers, and exhort a strengthening of the Catholic life.

Among the matters dealt with in the Pastoral Letters read in the western churches are emigration, unemployment, and the dance hall evil.

His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gilmartin, Archbishop of Tuam, states that he is glad to know that in the diocese the direction to have no dances during Advent and Lent has, with few exceptions, been obeyed.

Dealing with the licensing of halls, His Grace states that he has reason to believe that if all justices agreed to an eleven o’clock rule in winter and twelve o’clock in summer, with no all-night dances, they would have the blessing not only of the fathers and mothers, but also of the great majority of boys and girls. As matters stand at present, they are most unsatisfactory.

Corporation protest

“Any mistakes made by the Corporation should not result in an imposition on the people of Galway,” said Mr. Peter Kelly, vice-chairman of the Galway County Libraries Committee, when speaking at the monthly meeting of the committee on Saturday, on the decision of the Galway Corporation to protest against an increase in the special rate on the city for the upkeep and maintenance of the county libraries.

1963

Spiddal Courthouse

Members of Galway Co. Council at their meeting on Saturday expressed the opinion that the Department of Justice and not the Co. Councils should build and maintain courthouses. The meeting agreed to provide a new courthouse for Spiddal and Mr. Sean Donnellan was informed that the new building will incorporate a library and council offices for engineers and others.

Minister at dinner

Dr. P.J. Hillery, Minister for Education, was guest of honour at the Tuam Fianna Fáil dinner and social held in the Imperial Hotel, Tuam, on Monday night. Dr. Hillery congratulated Tuam Cumann on its strength and said that perhaps the organisation of Fianna Fáil could do more to encourage and protect the natural patriotism of their young people.

Stand for Tuam?

Tuam Stadium may have covered stand accommodation in the not-too-distant future. At present discussions are taking place as to the best possible type of structure, and when finalised plans will be presented to the Stadium Committee for their consideration.

Postal delays

In Dáil Éireann, Ald. Fintan Coogan, T.D., asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will take steps to rectify the unnecessary delays in postal delivery for letters posted in Clifden, for Ballyconneely and Roundstone.

Mr. Hilliard: I am not aware of the unnecessary delays referred to. Letters for both places posted at Clifden in time for the outgoing evening despatch are delivered the following day, Sunday excepted.

If the Deputy will let me have particulars of any specific cases of delay, I will have inquiries made.

Mr. Coogan: Is the Minister aware of the ridiculous situation there is that a letter posted five miles away in Ballyconneely has to go 105 miles before it is delivered, whereas if the bus brought the mail, it could be delivered within an hour.

Mr. Hilliard: I shall have that examined.

 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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