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Ring-rusty Salthill bailed out of trouble by late Armstrong point



Date Published: {J}

Salthill / Knocknacarra 1-5

Tuam Stars 0-8

Dara Bradley at Pearse Stadium

SALTHILL/Knocknacarra needed a late equalising point from substitute Seán Armstrong to just about hang on in the Galway senior football championship against a vastly improved Tuam Stars side that will rue a series of costly wides in the space of a few minutes at the end of Sunday’s semi-final at Pearse Stadium.

It was Armstrong’s first championship appearance and score since May – the Galway star was away for the victories over Killererin and Moycullen – and it could well prove to be one of his most valuable points in his club career to date, saving Salthill/Knocknacarra’s blushes by forcing a replay when converting a pressure kick right on the stroke of the 60th minute.

The main talking point afterwards was, unfortunately, time-keeping by the referee: At least five minutes injury time was signalled by match official Brendan Kinneavey but he blew the final whistle with just 34 minutes and 17 seconds showing on the stadium clock.

At that stage, Salthill/Knocknacarra were in possession in Tuam’s half and the possibility of the city side scoring a winner in the remaining 30 seconds or so was very real. Salthill/Knocknacarra players and management were understandably incensed although Kinneavey could argue the stadium stop watch was started late and the injury time on his watch – the only one that matters – had elapsed.

Either way the match probably should have been allowed to continue until that last passage of play broke-down, but the reality was that Gerry Hughes’ charges were second best on the day, and performed way below their standard, particularly in the second half. A late victory for Salthill/Knocknacarra would have been robbery.

The West Board outfit’s summer form – which saw them average 3-14 in the two August championship matches – deserted them on Sunday, as the seasiders looked a shadow of the side that dethroned champions Killererin and taught Moycullen a lesson.

Their backs were solid enough but Tuam dominated the middle third of the park after the break and Salthill/Knocknacarra just couldn’t get any amount of decent ball into their forwards to threaten the North Galway men. What’s the point in having the championship’s most potent attacker and top scorer from play, Seamie Crowe, on the edge of the square if you can’t or won’t feed the ball to him?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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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