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Salthill hold out against spirited St Bernard’s



Date Published: 15-Dec-2009

THREE up before the hour mark, Salthill Devon seemed to be coasting to a comprehensive victory in this Connacht Junior Cup tie at Drom on Sunday morning, but a tremendous revival by a ten man visiting side ensured that the home team had a lot of very nervous moments before the finish.

Bernard’s not only pulled it back to 3-2, but also missed a penalty in the process, while Devon’s last score came courtesy of an Alan Gilmore spot kick in injury time.

On a crisp and cold morning, it was the visitors who were the more threatening in the early exchanges, but a lack of a killer instinct was to cost them dearly. Kevin Ruane was badly off target with a close range header following a corner, while the same player couldn’t get the better of ‘keeper Colm Smith when put through with an excellent Eoin Roach pass.

Devon woke from that early slumber and for a spell put the Abbeyknockmoy side under serious pressure. Brian Gaffney and Gilmore had close range efforts blocked while stand-in goalkeeper Damien Flaherty kept out shots by Kieran O’Sullivan and Ronan Geraghty.

The intense pressure eventually paid off and the breakthrough arrived on 34 minutes when Luke Dunlea cracked in a shot from about 25 yards and the strike made it 1-0 with the assist of a post. A free kick by Eoin Roche tested Flaherty before the home side secured a terrific second.

It was right full Ronan Silke who started the move with a ball down the line to Gaffney and from the by-line his cross was finished at the far post by the inrushing Geraghty to make it 2-0. Textbook stuff, but a lack of consistency was to prevent them pulling away from a side unbeaten in First Division football.

Indeed, the visitors had opportunities to reduce the margin before the break, but following a Ruane cross, JP Keary had a volley clawed away at the far post by Smith, while later Ruane was closed down in the area as he tried to wind up a shot.

The early minutes of the restart saw Bernard’s start well again and Keary had a header kept out by Smith, while the same player just couldn’t get on the end of a Roach delivery as it pinged across the box.

Then almost without warning Devon made it 3-0 on 53 minutes. Geraghty delivered from the left and Tom Forde completely miscued his clearance, allowing Brian Gaffney to fire home unopposed from close range. Continuing to hold the upper hand, Dunlea and O’Sullivan had efforts just outside the woodwork, before the home side lost their way.

The game continued to contribute an inordinate amount of chances and in successive efforts both Ruane and Daryl Finn were denied down low by smart Smith saves. Now Bernard’s were not having much luck and their cause seemed to be a totally lost one on 66 minutes when Adrian Roach collected a second yellow for what seemed a timid challenge in midfield.

Within three minutes, they kick started their recovery when Ruane chased a Tracey long ball and from seemingly an impossible angle he beat Smith at the near post to reduce the arrears to 3-1. By now it was all Bernard’s as Smith was kept busy with a series of saves.

Then when Devon’s Eoin Roche impeded Daryl Finn in the box on 79 minutes, a penalty was the award but leading scorer Ruane inexplicably fired his effort outside a post. Just five minutes later there was a repeat spot kick after Cian Fadden upended Finn in the area and on this occasion Ruane was less casual as he made it 3-2 with a low effort into the corner.

Despite being down to ten men they continued to threaten, but chances became scarce in the final minutes and on 90 minutes, substitute Gerry Dolan broke through at the other end and was upended by Flaherty. From the resulting penalty, Alan Gilmore was true with a powerful effort into the top corner to seal a 4-2 win.

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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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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