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Stars finish with 14 in bruising decider



Date Published: 10-Dec-2009

HATRED might be overstating it but it’s safe to say Cortoon Shamrocks and Tuam Stars aren’t that ‘gone’ on each other. There was a real bitter bite in the air at Tuam Stadium on Sunday as these two neighbouring North Galway clubs squared up for the final of the Clayton Hotel senior A football league … and that’s without even mentioning the chilling winter winds.

Cortoon and Tuam unceremoniously tore into one another from the outset and it was looking early-on that the natural residual dislike of these linked parishes was going to bubble away at the surface for the remaining hour. And so it turned out.

There was ample fair, but tough, bone-crunching tackles, as well as niggling fouling and ‘afters’, ‘mouthing’ at and goading of opponents, the odd late and high challenge, and a couple of off-the-ball incidents as Cortoon were aiming for their first major title in recent years and Tuam sought to get back in the big-time by winning silverware again.

As if it needed it, a controversial decision from officials just before half-time, in which Cortoon were awarded a dubious point and Tuam were reduced to 14-men after an altercation with a player and umpire, only added to the tense atmosphere.

The December conditions didn’t help either and there was always a sense that the match could ‘boil over’ at any minute and turn into an all-out brawl but in fairness to both sets of players, it never got ‘out of hand’.

However, far from marring the contest, the intensity and physicality of the challenges, which brought a fresh meaning to the term‘bitter rivals, added a dollop of intrigue to what was a highly entertaining decider that went right down to the wire.

We won’t dwell on it too long but that dubious point was a real turning (and talking) point. The teams were tied three points apiece with a couple of minutes to go before halftime when Cortoon captain Derek Savage got on the end of midfielder Shane Gilmore’s punt down the left flank and the former All-Ireland medallist hit a left-peg shot into the town-end goal.

The ball was aided by a strong breeze and was curling all the time but in this reporter’s humble opinion, it actually just sailed wide of the right post. In fairness to the umpire, who was closest to the action, it was a close call but his decision to award a point drew the wrath of the Tuam defence.

Full-back Donal Marley was so outraged with the decision he became involved in ‘verbals’ and appeared to make physical contact with the umpire – referee Gerry Kineavey had no option but to issue a straight red card and early shower.

Up to that juncture points from Shane Curtin (frees) and Jamie Murphy had cancelled out Cortoon’s three scores which came courtesy of Shane Gilmore, Alan Tierney and Michael Martin (free) and Tuam would have been pleased going into the dressing room level, particularly given that Martin and Savage were not their usual selves and accumulated five first half wides between them.

The first 15 minutes of the second-half brought more intense challenges, was exciting and full of honest endeavour

but failed to produce a score until Tuam introduced two substitutes, John Ross Bodkin, who scored a point with his first kick of the match, and Rory Gaffney, who also split the posts, to freshen up their attack.

Gary O’Donnell, who was otherwise subdued at centrefield, bagged a monstrous long range point while Curtin converted a free and, suddenly, the pendulum had swung firmly in Tuam’s favour as they led by three points with seven minutes remaining.

Cortoon’s full-forward David Warde then scored a sensational goal, which was disallowed as Kinneavey had already blown the whistle for an indiscretion by defenders, although Martin converted to start the fight back.

Warde landed a free of his own a minute later and now the momentum was with Cortoon, and their dogged persistence was rewarded on the stroke of full-time when Warde was pulled down close in on goal giving Martin a simple tap-over equalising free.

It was helter-skelter for the remaining three minutes added on with Shane Gilmore and Curtin having opportunities to win it in injury time for Cortoon and Tuam respectively but neither efforts came close, which ensures a cracking replay is in store this weekend.


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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