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Red Arrows air show for Volvo week is shot down



Date Published: {J}

By Dara Bradley

High-hopes that the world famous Red Arrow jets would be returning to the skies of Salthill for the finale of the Volvo Ocean Race have been shot down.

The organisers of this Summer’s Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway confirmed to the Sentinel that the RAF (Royal Air Force) will not be performing their aerobatic display over Galway Bay.

The Red Arrows wowed tens of thousands of spectators who lined the Promenade in Salthill during the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race – it was one of the highlights of the two-weeks Galway leg of the yacht race stopover.

The Red Arrows had again been requested to perform an aerobatic display as part of this Summer’s Ocean Race and they initially said yes but have since informed the organisers that it will not be possible this year.

It is understood the show will not go ahead because of ‘operational reasons’ – the RAF is understood to be reducing the number of performances it puts on this year because of a shortage in pilots that are trained to do the displays.

The organisers of the Volvo Race have also scotched rumours that another international airforce, other than the RAF, was being lined up to replace the Red Arrows.

John Killeen of Let’s Do It Galway confirmed that the Red Arrow show has been removed from the Volvo Race programme for this year.

“There was a proposal that we would have the Red Arrows in Galway during the Volvo finale; that proposal was never finalised. There will be no air show as part of the Volvo Race this year.

“We’d asked them to be involved and they’ve not confirmed one way or the other but it is my belief that it (Galway) is not part of the RAF’s schedule. It is not part of our programme . . . it has been taken out of the programme,” he said.

Asked was an airshow by an airforce from a different country being lined-up to take over from the RAF, Mr Killeen said: “There have been lots of proposals and lots of ideas about a lot of things . . . but there will be no airshow as part of Volvo Race schedule.”

The Galway Alliance Against War issued a statement last week saying that the RAF and, what it called another “war outfit”, was lined up for an airshow in the Volvo Race.

Mr Killeen yesterday clarified that that would not be the case and he stressed the decision not to go ahead with the aerobatic show was unrelated to the media statement by GAAW.


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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