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Predator Triathlon Club gearing up for big event



Date Published: {J}

PREDATOR Triathlon Club is making final preparations for its major annual event of the year, the Loughrea Sprint Triathlon, which takes place in the local town and Kilnadeema area on Sunday, September 12.

This weekend, Race Organiser Tony Daley and his fellow members will go over the course one more time before the big event, to ensure it all goes to plan. It is that meticulous.

Since its inception in 2006, the triathlon club and its flagship meet have gone from strength to strength. Indeed, this year, over 500 competitors will take part in the race, although Daley believes that, such has been the response, this figure could easily be 700.

“This is the fifth year of the race and it just keeps growing and growing,” he beams. “I know some people in the club would like to extend it to 600 or 700 people, but we ran it so well with the numbers we had last year, we want to continue to do that. Even now, though, we are still getting queries from people who want to do the race.”

In any event, the race filled out about a month ago and it will be left to those lucky enough to claim a number to take on the challenges of the 750 metre swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. In contrast to an Ironman event, which boasts of greater lengths in the three disciplines, this is known as a sprint distance.

That said, the sprint distance triathlon is not the only race that will be run on the day. Daley explains that contests for juveniles and women will also be held although, in relation to the latter, there will be female competitors involved in the sprint distance race also.

“We have 60 children in the Predator Triathlon Club; a lot of the tri-athletes have got kids involved, so the children do the junior races – 150km swim, 6km cycle and 2km run – and the adults compete in the senior races. We also have a women’s only section, which is a 300 metre swim, 6km on the bike and a 2km run but, of course, the women can also take part in the sprint distance, which is mixed.”

The swim itself takes place at Long Point in Loughrea, with the cycle meandering into the heartland of Kilnadeema. “It is quite hilly,” adds Daley. “The run also winds its way out towards Kilnadeema as well, so there are plenty of hills.”

Naturally, to pull an event of this magnitude together takes a great deal of organisation from all involved. Race Organiser Daley is quick in his praise. “The Gardaí are really good, as are Loughrea Town Council,” says the Sheffield native.

“We have roads closed for part of the race, which you have to do, particularly for the kids’ part of the race. So, the Gardaí, the Civil Defence and Loughrea Town Council all play their part in helping out. Then, we have our own local club members. We ask them, for just one weekend a year, to help out and they do. We set it all up on the Saturday, so come Sunday everything is ready to go.”

Although there will be competitors from all over the world, including the UK and Lithuania, most of the field will travel from right across the country, from as far away as Belfast, Cork and Dublin. However, the one to beat will be Galway City native and defending champion, Ruaidhrí Geraghty, who has become something of a specialist in the sport.

“Yeah, Ruaidhrí Geraghty won it last year and he is entered again this year,” says Daley. “The winner gets €100 and an engraved, glass trophy, but it is all about the prestige of winning it.

“From our own club, Maírtín Grealish could win it this year. He won Brian Boru (Tri Challenge, Killaloe) two weeks ago and came second in the Lough Ree (Monster Sprint, Roscommon) last week. He is doing the European Duathlon Championships this week in Edinburgh. He is going really well at the moment.”

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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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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