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Spirited Galway continue revival



Date Published: {J}

Galway 1-14

Dublin 0-14

by Frank Farragher

NO Galway supporter leaving Parnell Park on Saturday evening even vaguely dared to mention anything by way of All-Ireland aspirations, but all of them acknowledged the spirit and resilience of a side that managed to extract a rare success over Dublin in their own backyard.

Overall this was a curious experience. For the first 20 minutes Galway looked to be on the very precipice of one almighty hiding as Dublin started at breakneck pace . . . and yet when the half-time whistle sounded, Joe Kernan’s side enjoyed a double scores advantage.

It was an open and entertaining 70 minutes of football with a real flow to some of the play, helped to some extent by two defences in need of serious tightening up before the acid test of the championship arrives.


The victory though was a sweet one for all Galway fans with sullen memories ingrained in their subconscious of morale shattering defeats at the hands of Dublin — now, back to back league successes over the Leinster champions, is something to be stored away in the satisfaction locker.

When Galway trailed by three points to nil after six minutes, and 5-1 midway through the first half, the omens were far from good — into the bargain the Dubs could have been out of sight had their finishing been a tad more clinical.

The Galway management administered early medicine with Donal O’Neill replacing Damien Burke in an effort to tighten up the half backline while Paul Conroy came on for Barry Cullinane to add a bit more mobility around the midfield sector.

The changes did make a difference and at the other end of the pitch Eoin Concannon showed loads of composure when chances presented themselves from play and frees — but on the half hour mark, the game was to dramatically swing the way of Galway.

Prior to that, a series of long balls had been delivered into the Dublin square with nil impact but eventually Fiachra Breathnach got his hands to one of them before sneaking a low shot past Stephen Cluxton from just a few yards out.

Galway, after an horrendous start, now found themselves 1-4 to 0-5 in front, and it was a score which rocked Dublin to the core — all of their early dominance had been wiped out over the course of a 10 minute period and worse was to come for the home side.

Nicky Joyce pointed to two frees — one of them a very sweet strike from under the stand — with Gareth Bradshaw also dissecting the posts from 45 yards out.

It was a fitting reward for Bradshaw’s first half endeavours, as when Galway really had their backs to the wall and were being put to the sword in defence, the Moycullen clubman showed admirable dash and courage to lift the siege on a number of occasions.

Roused on by the 5,000 strong home crowd, Dublin were always going to come again in the second half and with 14 minutes left they had built up a real head of steam when drawing level at 1-10 to 0-13. 


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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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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