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Oughterard boys power to glory

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: {J}

Oughterard 4-10

Salthill 2-8

Dara Bradley

in Spiddal

OUGHTERARD justified their favourites tag and were crowned the West Board U21 A champions after a comprehensive eight points win over Salthill in a goal fest at An Spidéal on Saturday evening.

Oughterard had the upper hand in every facet of this game – they were more clinical in front of goal when it mattered, dominated midfield, tackled ferociously and pressurised Salthill into making uncharacteristic mistakes – and the scoreboard probably doesn’t reflect just how superior they were.

In fairness to Salthill, they fought hard to the end and finished that little bit stronger outscoring their opponents 1-4 to 0-1 in the final few minutes – the city team restored a bit of pride but the damage was done and the late surge was like the sting of a dying wasp and can probably be put down to Oughterard taking the foot off the pedal, with the cup secure, rather than anything else.

Four goals to two tells its own story but Oughterard’s first half majors sucked the life out of Salthill’s challenge and the Connemara men always maintained at least a six points cushion.

Martin Coady landed the first on 11 minutes after plucking a Paul Mulkearns pass from the sky and burying the ball low past ‘keeper Greg Sheedy in the bottom right-hand corner. They had started tentatively but Coady’s cracker breathed life into Oughterard’s challenge and they never really looked back thereafter.

Patrick Walsh’s goal just before half-time was as ugly a score as you’re likely to see – a messy goalmouth scramble that somehow made it over the line – but what it lacked in beauty, it made up for in importance and it was the wing forward’s strike that proved fatal, giving Oughterard a commanding 2-4 to 0-3 lead at the break.

Three points from Michael O’Donnell, Sean Gavin (free) and substitute Ronan Conlon, was a woeful return for 30 minutes of football from Salthill but they only have themselves to blame – the seasiders kicked seven wides in the opening half, and most of them were very scoreable.

Had they converted even three or four of those opportunities, Salthill would have given themselves a fighting chance but Gerry Hughes’ side’s confidence dropped with every wide and in truth Oughterard had the game wrapped up by the interval.

But if there was any doubt or slither of hope for Salthill, Oughterard stamped it out with a comprehensive and powerful third quarter display, particularly from potent attackers Conrad Clancy, Martin Coady and Ronan Molloy who did serious damage to Salthill’s defence.

Salthill struggled to get hold of the ball, were cleaned out of it between the two ‘40s and at times it looked like Oughterard were playing with an extra man, such was the level of their intensity.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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

BallinasloeÕs young squad aiming to floor Armagh junior champs

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

A new chapter in the history of Ballinasloe football will be written at Breffni Park, Cavan, on Sunday when Sean Riddell’s young side take on Ulster champions An Port Mor of Armagh in the All-Ireland Junior semi-final (2pm).

It’s the first competitive game outside the province of Connacht in 33 years for Galway football’s ‘sleeping giant’ with the enticing prospect of an appearance at Croke Park on February 9 on offer for the winners of what should be a competitive tie.

Ballinasloe have romped through Connacht since overcoming a couple of tricky hurdles on their way to collecting the Galway junior title, which was their target for the campaign this time last year.

With a return to Intermediate football secured, Riddell’s youngsters really have nothing to lose – while their triumphant march to county and provincial titles has revived memories of the club’s glory days when they contested three Galway senior finals in a row between 1979 and ’81.

Intriguingly, the seniors of St Grellan’s never got to play in Croke Park when they reached the All-Ireland final back in 1980 – they lost by 3-9 to 0-8 to St Finbarr’s of Cork in Tipperary Town.

This team’s progression has provided rich rewards for an abundance of hard work at underage levels in the past ten to 15 years and the current side’s ‘do or die’ attitude was very much in evidence in the cliffhanger wins over Tuam and Clifden in the domestic championship.

 

They are a well-balanced side who really never know when they are beaten and have an inspirational leader in county panelist Keith Kelly, whose exploits at centre back have been among the key components in their dramatic run to reach the All-Ireland series.

Riddell, who recalls playing senior football with the club during their heyday, is determined to get Ballinasloe back among the county’s leading clubs but, for the moment, he is delighted just to have a shot at getting to Croke Park in a bid to emulate Clonbur’s achievement in winning the title outright last year.

Riddell went to Newry on a ‘spying mission’ to see the Armagh champions overcome Brackaville of Tyrone by 2-9 to 0-11 in November – and was impressed by the quality of the football produced by An Port Mor in the Ulster final.

“They are a nicely balanced side who play good football,” he said. “There was a bit of the physical stuff you’d expect from two Ulster side, but I was impressed by their performance.”

An Port Mor became the first Armagh side to win the provincial junior decider. First half goals from Shane Nugent and Christopher Lennon sent them on the road to victory, before a red card for Brackaville captain Cahir McGuinness eased their progress to the All-Ireland series.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Archive News

Coalition promised an ocean of reform Ð but the wind has gone out of its sails

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 30-Jan-2013

CITY ENERGY COMPANY TO CREATE 12 NEW JOBS

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