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Pack paves way as ‘Wegians advance



Date Published: 10-Nov-2009

GALWEGIANS got back to winning ways when they overcame Division 2 side UCD 29-16 in the 3rd Round of the AIB Cup in Dublin on Sunday.

College had the better of the opening exchanges, with Wegians being turned over far too easily on occasion. But the hosts failed to make the most of their early chances, and had to settle for an early 3-0 lead courtesy of a seventh minute penalty from out-half Niall Earls.

Having withstood the early pressure, the visitors Galwegians then started to make inroads, and in contrast to their hosts, they certainly made the most of the scoring opportunities which came their way. Their pack was mauling better, and they took the lead in the first quarter with a try by no. 8 Ambrose Conboy who powered home off a ruck to score near the posts.

A poor conversion miss left the lead 5-3, but early in the second quarter the Blues extended their lead when winger John Cleary received a sweet reverse pass to split the defence and score at the posts. The Wellpark man then added the simple conversion to put the Blues 12-3 in front.

Wegians continued to dominate the second quarter with the pack now very much in the ascendancy. Cleary added a penalty to stretch their lead to 15-3, and in truth they could have been further in front such was their dominance at this point. But in a rare foray into opposition territory, the students narrowed the gap with a second penalty from Earls right on the stroke of half-time to reduce arrears to 15-6 at the break.

The second-half began much like the first with UCD dominating the early exchanges, and another penalty from Earls soon reduced arrears to 15-9. However despite their dominance, once more the hosts were prone to errors, and this was to prove extremely costly as Wegians took full advantage.

When another UCD attack broke down with a pass going astray near half-way, Butler took full advantage to intercept and break through the middle. And although held up just short of the line himself, Wegians’ inside centre Dave Clarke was on hand to finish for a third try, which Cleary converted for a 22-9 advantage.

However the students continued to press, and their pressure was finally rewarded just after the hour mark when fullback Michael Twomey went in for a try in the corner, which was excellently converted by the prolific Earls to reduce arrears to 22-16.

It was now very much game on, and the students decided to go for broke. But their naivety and lack of experience was to cost them as they conceded a fourth try almost straight from the restart. When attempting to create an attack from inside their 22, an ill-judged chip ahead was intercepted by the alert Cleary who easily outpaced the defence to score his second converted try of the game near the posts to make it 29-16.

UCD were given a glimmer of hope in the final ten minutes when Wegians’ scrum-half Ronan Dillon was binned for a high tackle. But try as they might to force their way back, the students were unable to make any further impression on the scoreboard with the

Blues defence holding firm.

And so Wegians continue their impressive record in this competition, securing their fourth consecutive quarter-final appearance, where they will meet Division 1A form side Dolphin in Cork on November 21st.

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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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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