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Out-of-sorts Salthill fail to deliver in crunch test



Date Published: 14-Nov-2012

St. Brigid’s (Roscommon) 0-15

Salthill-Knocknarra 0-8


AN explosive cocktail of pace and intensity from Roscommon and Connacht champions, St. Brigid’s, fairly blew Salthill-Knocknacarra out of the water in a surprisingly one sided provincial senior club semi-final at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

It was a massively disappointing performance from the Galway champions and the truth of this showdown is that Salthill were only really competitive for two ten minute periods of this match in either half – for the remaining two thirds of the match, St. Brigid’s held a complete stranglehold on possession.

In fairness, the opening 10 minutes of the match seemed to indicate that little would separate the sides at the end of the hour, after they had equally shared six points, but from there to half-time, almost all of the match was played in the Salthill-Knocknacarra half of the pitch.


Salthill did suffer a major early loss when free scoring corner forward Seamie Crowe had to retire just six minutes into the match with a leg injury, but as the half wore on, very few balls filtered through to the home set of forwards.

St. Brigid’s played the match with an extra yard of pace and zip that Salthill just couldn’t cope with. The first half midfield dominance of the Roscommon champions wasn’t based on any spectacular exhibition of high fielding – instead they hunted like hungry wolves for all the scraps of possession between the two 45s.

Kevin McStay’s side played this match the Donegal way – all high intensity stuff, and especially so when they didn’t have possession of the ball. Time and again, they hassled and harried Salthill players in possession, often either leading to direct turnovers or else fouls on the ball by the home side.

Ten minutes into the second half, when St. Brigid’s had powered their way to a 0-11 to 0-4 lead, a defeat of quite embarrassing proportions looked to be on the cards for Salthill-Knockncarra but a measure of credit must be given to Gerry Hughes’ side for spiritedly battling back.


Three well taken points, two frees and a real neat effort from play – all supplied by their most dangerous forward, Sean Armstrong – reduced the deficit to four points and it could have been closer had Armstrong found the target with another free and a sideline ball, while Conor Healy also blasted wide from a good position.

On the day that was in it, given St. Brigids overall dominance, Salthill needed to be picking off every chance to keep them competitive – when Frankie Dolan landed a superb 45 metre free followed by a Niall Grehan effort from play (again after the home side had lost possession in defence), the bite was gone from this match with a full 10 minutes left on the clock.

Effectively, this contest was decided in the 20 minute period before half-time when the Connacht champions outscored the home side on a 5-1 tally, and that didn’t flatter them either, as they also kicked five wides from decent enough positions. By then very few in the crowd of about 1,500 people were in any doubt about the outcome.

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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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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