Date Published: 15-Sep-2009
New Galway football manager Joe Kernan might just have been wondering what he had let himself in for as he surveyed the standard of the two county semi-finals on the day he was unveiled to the county’s GAA supporters at a sun-drenched Tuam Stadium on Sunday.
Undoubtedly, Kernan would have been impressed by the resolute defending of the two winning teams, Corofin and Mountbellew, but the overall standard of football on offer left the large crowd with little to enthuse about despite the near perfect conditions. Kernan, whose late mother came from Ballinasloe, took a seat in the front of the stand for the two games and was presented to the supporters on the pitch between what turned out to be two disappointing ties.
At least the men of Mountbellew-Moylough brought a bit of romance to the occasion, as 23 years have passed since they were last top dogs in the county and their supporters celebrated a thoroughly deserved nine point victory over near neighbours Caltra with a relish.
Caltra’s players were underperforming all over the pitch and, despite recovering from going 1-2 to no score down, never really looked to have the conviction to overcome a Mountbellew side who deployed county star Joe Bergin as an effective full-forward in the opening half.
The former All-Ireland club champions, with Declan Meehan in superb form, only really reached their potential in the second quarter. Any chance of a Caltra comeback was thwarted by a Sean Sweeney goal midway through the second half, before substitute Cathal Duffy wrapped up the issue with their third goal in a comprehensive 3-11 to 1-8 victory.
Kernan was then introduced to the large crowd in the break between the two games, but could hardly have been too enthused by the showdown between the clubs considered to be the ‘big two’ left in the Galway club championship this year. The teams failed to match the intensity of the first game, with first half goals from Corofin’s Kieran Comer and Michael Comer effectively ending the contest before the break.
It was a dour game, resulting in hundreds of fans heading towards the exits long before the end, as the city players – apart from the industrious Sean Armstrong – never came anywhere near their potential.
It was a poor show, but a comfortable 2-10 to 0-10 win for the champions, who were well served in defence by Kieran Fitzgerald, Cathal Silke, Damien Burke, and Alan Burke, while Salthill never recovered from the concession of the early goals.
The seasiders brought on county hurler Aonghus Callanan at half-time, only hours after he featured in Liam Mellows’ draw with Ardrahan, but his battling performance failed to save the day for a side who were knocked out of the title race in a disappointing fashion.
The scene is set, then, for a meeting between Corofin and Mountbellew-Moylough in the final on Sunday, October 4. Resolute defensive performances can be expected from both sides, with Corofin set to start as favourites on the basis of their greater big day experience over the past decade.
That game, which will take place at either Tuam or Pearse Stadium, will be preceeded by the county minor final between Corofin and the winners of tomorrow evening’s West Board decider between St. James’ and Micheal Breathnach (Pearse Stadium, 6.30 p.m.).
Meanwhile, the Intermediate football final, featuring St. James’ and Leitir Mor, has been fixed for Pearse Stadium on Sunday, September 27.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.