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Sporting Review of 2010 – Part 2



Date Published: 31-Dec-2010

July – Hession, Thornton and Breathnach strike gold

PAUL Hession ran his fastest time on Irish soil in 2010 when cruising to another 200 metre men’s national title in the Woodie’s DIY senior track and field championship in Santry. Hession joined fellow Galway athletes Gary Thornton and Sean Breathnach on the winners’ rostrum as the Galway City Harriers duo won gold medals in the men’s 10,000 metres and shot putt disciplines respectively.

Meanwhile, World Championship silver medallist, Olive Loughnane was forced to retire from the 20km walk at the European Athletics Championship in Barcelona due to illness. The Loughrea woman was expected to challenge for the podium finish but had to retire after 5km.


It was not so much the result as the performance – or lack of – that was disappointing from a Galway perspective as John McIntyre’s below-par side suffered a 1-19 to 1-12 defeat to Kilkenny in the Leinster senior hurling final at Croke Park.

Although Galway submitted a much improved display against Tipperary in the All-Ireland quarter-final – an outstanding game that will live long in the memory – they were just pipped at the post by the eventual champions on a scoreline of 3-17 to 3-16.

In the All-Ireland minor hurling semifinal, Mattie Murphy’s Galway recorded a merited 1-15 to 2-8 victory over Waterford in the quarter-final, but the reigning All-Ireland champions subsequently crashed out to Kilkenny at the penultimate stage.


Galway jockey Graham Lee underlined his class when guiding Donald McCain’s UK raider Overturn to a pillar to post victory in the Guinness Hurdle at the Galway Races. Cross-channel based Lee never had a moment’s worry as the high class six-year-old set a searching gallop in coming well clear of 2009 winner, the gallant Bahrain Storm.

Among the other Galway horseracing enthusiasts to celebrate in the winners’ enclosure were Killimordaly owner John Earls, with Hoopy; Co. Galway jockey Leigh Roche, who rode Easy Mate; and EasyFix Director Tom Howley, whose horse Ask Jack stormed home in the Tote Mile.

Tony McCoy, the most prolific National Hunt jockey of all time, filled one of the few big race blanks left in his brilliant career when steering JP McManus’ Fingeronthepulse to Galway Plate victory.


NUIG retained their senior Eights title at the National Rowing Championships in Farran Woods in Cork with an on-the-line victory over Queen’s University. Earlier in the weekend, the squad also claimed the National Fours when coasting beyond favourites UCD, who had won at Henley Royal Regatta in the leadup to the nationals.


Galway minor ladies footballers captured the All-Ireland crown when defeating Donegal on a scoreline of 1-15 to 1-11 at Ballinamore, Leitrim. Corofin’s Lisa Leonard was the star as she proved lethal from frees, kicking eight over and raising the white flag nine time in total. The Galway senior ladies footballers retained their Connacht title with a comfortable 3-11 to 0-7 win over Sligo in Tubbercurry while ClareGalway U-14 girls’ football team powered their way to the national Féile title when defeating St.

Laurence’s of Kildare in the decider earlier in the month.


The second Galway derby of the season in the League of Ireland saw Salthill Devon record a comfortable 2-0 win over Mervue United in Drom.

  • August – Search began for new boss after Kernan resigns
  • September – Father and son team clinch Irish Derby
  • October – Killererin enjoy county senior final triumph
  • November – Clarinbridge pull off own version
  • December – Major boost for Connacht as IRFU unveil plan

For the full review see pages 30 & 31 of this week’s Tribunes

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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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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