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Second place finish for GCH athletes clinches promotion to Premier Division for 2011



Date Published: {J}

IN their second season fielding a club team in the national senior men’s track and field league, GCH finished second in the Division 1 final in Tullamore on Saturday to earn promotion to the Premier Division next year.

This achievement came despite the absence of some big point scorers such as Simon Callaghan, Ronan Dobey, Kevin Dooley, Gary Thorton, Brian Liddy, and Eanna Ó Catháin.

Harriers got off to a slow start as they did not have anyone in many of the early events such as the walk, long jump and pole vault. First points on the track were collected by Anthony Hebron, who has enjoyed a fantastic season the highlight of which was winning the Ireland schools 400m hurdles.

Against some concern from team management, Hebron was keen to not only compete in the 400m hurdles but also the much higher 110m

hurdles. It proved a risk worth taking as he took 4th in the 110 event and followed that with second in the 400m hurdles.

Sprinter Daragh Whyte still has two years left at school, but he has been competitive throughout the season against the senior men. There was a strong field assembled in 200m but a PB of 23.04 took him to a respectable 5th.

He was given the given the benefit of the doubt over Clare County athlete Cormac Lynch but the order was reversed in the 100m with Whyte narrowly beaten into 5th by the Clare athlete.

Like Whyte, Ronan Kelly also has two more years at school but he is already competing well as a senior. He had been consistent all season and produced another second place in the 400m.

Kelly was joined in the sprint relay team by Whyte, Hebron and Sean Kyne. The GCH teamfaced their most competitive race of the year, but were a solid 5th place which, given that they are all still eligible for the juveniles, shows the promise of the sprint squads being developed by the club’s juvenile coaches.

Keith Fallon produced a PB and passed the landmark of a sub 4 minute 1500m when finishing fourth behind three established seniors and only lost touch slightly at the start of the final lap. If he copes with the transition from school to university level, he should be starting to compete with the best of the seniors over the next two years.

Eddie Costello, after being sidelined by injury, just got back into racing in time to chase a sub two minute 800m before the close of the season. On Saturday, he made a good attempt following the leading trio closely around the first 600m. The lack of race practice showed in the final 200m as the familiar foe of lactic acid came, reducing Costello’s speed drastically and taking him just outside two minutes but in a respectable 4th place.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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