Date Published: 29-Oct-2012
A potential clash of big game fixtures at Pearse Sadium in two weeks time has been avoided, but the draw in Sunday’s senior hurling semi-final between Gort and St. Thomas’ has now left GAA officials with a new scheduling headache
It had come to light last week that the county hurling final and Salthill Knocknacarra’s Connacht Club football championship semi-final – provided St. Brigid’s of Roscommon won their provincial quarter-final – were set to go ahead at the city venue on the same day, November 11.
The reigning Connacht club champions duly hammered Melvin Gaels (2-19 to 0-10) on Sunday, but a tug of war over Pearse Stadium on November 11 has been averted following the draw in the first of the hurling semi-finals at Kenny Park. Salthill will now have Pearse Stadium to themselves when they host title holders St Brigid’s on that date.
That replay has already been fixed for the same venue next Sunday, forcing Hurling Board officials to delay the staging of county final which is already running late. It had been expected that the sport’s local showpiece would then go ahead on Sunday, November 18, but instead the Galway decider could be delayed until just four weeks before Christmas.
Loughrea, who qualified for their sixth final in ten years by a comfortable 1-12 to 0-7 victory over Turloughmore, are set to lodge a postponement application with the Hurling Board as the long serving Johnny Maher is due to get married on Friday, November 16, two days before the earliest possible date for the rescheduled final.
Given the club’s high profile due to its consistency in the title race over the past decade and Johnny Coen being a member of the Galway team which reached the All-Ireland final, the indications are that the Hurling Board are not prepared to go to war on the issue despite the lateness of the year.
That would clear the way for the county final to take place on November 25 at Pearse Stadium which holds the increasing risk of the game being marred by weather conditions and a reduced attendance due to its timing.
But bad conditions can crop up at anytime of the year as the four hurling semi-finalists discovered in Kenny Park on Sunday. Heavy rain had a detrimental effect on the quality of hurling for the big attendance but battle-hardened Loughrea were the only team to come through after a first-half Kenneth Colleran goal helped to ease them to an eight point victory over a Turloughmore which failed to repeat their exploits in their quarter-final success over Portumna.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
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.