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St. Thomas’ back in business after big group victory



Date Published: {J}

St. Thomas’ 5-16

Turloughmore 1-14

Darren Kelly

in Athenry

ST. Thomas’ produced a tour de force performance last Saturday to relaunch their senior hurling championship campaign with five goals against a Turloughmore side who’ll be soul searching again if they are to avoid the relegation dogfight.

Those attending Kenny Park may have expected Portumna to produce a sizeable victory in the first game of a double header, but nobody suspected the Kilchreest/Peterswell would do even better after their first day defeat to Sarsfields.

For Turloughmore, they started well and maintained the battle in the first half but let the game seriously slip them by after the restart and now must beat reigning All-Ireland champions Clarinbridge or Sarsfields to avoid the relegation play-offs.

Brendan Holland’s Turloughmore side made the better start and registered points from Daithi Burke, Matthew Keating and Brian Murphy by the eighth minute. But James Regan’s speculative effort for St. Thomas’ 60 seconds earlier ensured parity as his shot dipped into the net to leave the score, 1-0 to 0-3.

After allowing their opponents control the tempo for the first 10 minutes, St. Thomas’ dominated the middle part of the half and their second goal inspired an exhibition of score taking to move clear.

Brendan Burke’s long low ball in the 12th minute wasn’t dealt with by Paul Dullaghan as the St. Thomas’ attack applied the pressure. Eventually, the waiting Kenneth Burke, on the 20 metre line, took the sliothar and drove to the net for a three point lead.

Suddenly, St. Thomas’ seized the initiative and got four white flags within two minutes. Conor Cooney on the left, Bernard Burke on the right and Gerald Murray through the middle all scored from distance before Darragh Burke surpassed that with one from 90 yards to make it 2-4 to 0-3. Murphy tried to settle Turloughmore with a free but Darragh and David Burke, along with a Cooney placed ball, gave St. Thomas’ a 2-7 to 0-4 lead on 22 minutes.

St. Thomas’ should have pushed on with the momentum and the breeze before the break but with their forwards coming out too deep, attacks were quickly cleared and Turloughmore battled back to reduce the deficit to five. Murphy got the first two from play and a free, Darren O’Shaughnessy added two more while a Keating effort concluded their half trailing by just 2-8 to 0-9 with Richie Murray replying for St. Thomas’.

The contest was perfectly poised but Turloughmore never responded as St. Thomas’ moved up the gears upon the restart. Despite missing three frees, Cooney pointed from play in the fourth minute to stretch the lead to six. Murray added another before points from Cooney and David Burke made it 2-12 to 0-9 by the 39th minute.

Turloughmore can be thankful Regan didn’t get a penalty when he went to ground a minute beforehand but after Keating reduced the deficit with his third point, there was no reprieve on the three quarter mark when corner forward Anthony Kelly received a long low ball before attacking goal and registering a three-pointer to decide this contest.

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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