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Stakes are high in last round of group matches



Date Published: 11-Jul-2012


AFTER Galway’s superb – even sublime – victory over Kilkenny in the Leinster final last Sunday, it’s back to the brass tacks of the local senior hurling and intermediate championships this weekend.


Aside from Group D – in which Loughrea and St. Thomas have already qualified for the quarter-finals – there is plenty to play for in the other three groups, no more so than in Group C where, remarkably, all four teams can still make the knockout stages.


Turloughmore and Sarsfields lead the way with three points each in that group but chasing close on their heels are their respective opponents this Sunday, namely Beagh and Mullagh. Indeed, it’s possible all four teams could finish on the same number of points, leaving the pecking order to be sorted out on scoring difference.

In Group A, county champions Gort top the group but still need to account for Tommie Larkins to cement their place. That said, even if Larkins do cause an upset this weekend, Gort’s scoring difference of +42 should be enough to qualify them for the final eight.

That leaves Larkins and Padraig Pearses vying for the other spot, with an expected Pearses victory over lowly Moycullen to book their berth in the quarter-finals.

A similar situation arises in Group B where Portumna have already qualified for September’s fare, leaving Castlegar and Craughwell – who meet on Sunday evening – fighting it out for the remaining quarter-final place.

In the intermediate championship, matters are just as tight although the leading lights should begin to emerge following the final series of grouop games on Saturday evening (See fixtures).


Gort v Tommie Larkins

(Loughrea, 7pm)

Gort look set to be without four first choice regulars for this game. Defenders Mark McMahon (knee) and Brian Regan (ankle) are both missing through injury while the versatile Sylvie Óg Linnane and corner forward Gerard O’Donoghue are unavailable. It means the management will have to dip into their intermediate team for some of their reinforcements.

Tommie Larkins were ambushed by Padraig Pearses in the last round and, consequently, must win this game – and hope Moycullen do them a favour – to be in with any shout of progressing. Noel Murphy has no injury worries and he will hope Jason Flynn can continue his rich vein of form and find the net in this one. Verdict: Gort.

Padraig Pearses v Moycullen

(Kenny Park, Athenry 7pm)

Tommie Larkins won’t want to hear this, but according to Moycullen manager Fergal Clancy, they “are down to the bare bones for this one”. Already without several first choice players, including corner back Richie Deavney, who is getting married on Saturday, Moycullen lost midfielder Pat Lydon to a broken collarbone earlier this week. The promising Eanna Malone (holidays) is also unavailable for this clash.

As for Pearses – who still have Colm Raftery on the long-term injury list – they can boast of a clean bill of health. Manager John Raftery is expecting a backlash of sorts from Moycullen after the drubbing the Ghaeltacht men received at the hands of Gort but given the form Pearses are in – and, in particular, Cyril Donnellan – the Ballymacward/Gurteen outfit should have enough to progress. Verdict: Pearses.

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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