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Ryan resigns ahead of hurling investigation

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 30-Oct-2009

The 13-year reign of Galway hurling Board Chairman Miko Ryan came to an end on Wednesday evening when the Craughwell native resigned just one hour before he was due to be the subject of a County Board investigation.

Members of the seven man management committee were due to meet at the Maldron hotel, Oranmore, to discuss an alleged altercation between Ryan and a gate man at Athenry during the controversial semi-final clash between Loughrea and Mullagh last Sunday week.

This alleged altercation, the second involving Ryan this year, reportedly took place when the Chairman was supposed to be seeing out the final 16 days of an eight week ban from GAA activities which was imposed on him earlier this year.

Ryan had been served with the initial ban arising from a clash with Galway senior selector john Moylan on the sideline at Tullamore during Galway’s defeat to Kilkenny in the Leinster Championship on June 20 last. After a number of appeals, it had been re-imposed some weeks ago.

Ryan was initially banned from the sideline for all inter-county games until the end of the year and should not have been present when the hurling Board’s Fixtures committee met to confirm the fixtures for two weekends ago, when Loughrea beat Mullagh amid much controversy.

The staging of the county final is now in doubt given that Mullagh, who lost the semi final, have appealed to the Connacht Council on the basis that the fixture should be declared “null and void”. That appeal will be heard tonight.

Ryan submitted a letter of resignation to the Chairman of the County Board, Gerry Larkin, prior to the scheduled investigation and, as a result, the proposed probe did not take place although the management committee met to discuss other matters on Wednesday.

Ryan could have faced a second ban of six months had Wednesday night’s investigation gone against him, after the gate man involved had submitted a letter of complaint to the County Board.

Larkin confirmed to the City Tribune yesterday that the resignation would come into effect immediately and a successor was unlikely to be appointed until the annual convention of the hurling Board in December.

“I want to thank Miko for his service to Galway hurling and the County Board over a 13 year period,” said Larkin yesterday. “In 12 of those 13 years, he was elected unopposed. I would particularly like to thank his family for their support for him during his term of office. I would like to wish him well in the future.”

Following his resignation, Ryan said that he had not enjoyed his last year in office and he called for greater unity in Galway hurling. He expressed regret that the county had been unable to turn minor glory into success at senior level.

Ryan, who took over as Chairman following the death of Tom Callanan in 1996, called yesterday for the disputes and personality clashes which have dogged Galway hurling over the past two to three years to be brought to an end.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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