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Stars shine at the dawn of a new era for Tuam football



Date Published: 19-Sep-2012




PROBABLY the end of one era and possibly the start of another as the pendulum of history between two of the great citadels in North Galway football oscillated back the way of Tuam Stars after an intriguing, if not a classic, county senior football semi-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday.

Tuam Stars had that little more by way of pace, dash and sheer enthusiasm to eventually get over the line, against a Corofin side whose lack of finishing guile in the opening half proved too much of a burden to overcome.

It still took two moments of individual brilliance from the Doherty brothers, Conor and Paul, to eventually dethrone the county champions – killer goals that Corofin never looked like recovering from, although they did rally bravely in the closing minutes.

Corofin did secure an adequate level of primary midfield possession through the efforts of Kieran Fitzgerald and Greg Higgins, but a full 28 minutes of the match had elapsed before they raised a white flag – by then, the Stars were 1-3 to 0-0 ahead and could have been more in front.

Tuam Stars’ 17th minute goal was a microcosm of the entire first half. It started with a decent point chance for Corofin but when Alan O’Donovan’s 47 metre dropped short, Tuam rapidly worked possession upfield before Conor Doherty took the ball at full pace and ripped a sizzling drive into the corner of David Morris’s net from 18 yards.

Three minutes later, Conor Doherty set up Jamie Murphy for a point that put the Stars 1-3 to 0-0 ahead and Corofin were in serious trouble. When Tuam ‘keeper Jonathan Trayers saved superbly after Daithi Burke broke through in the 20th minute, Corofin must have thought that this wasn’t going to be their day.

Tuam could have added a few more scores too through the course of the half. Conor Doherty had a wide, that looked like a point from the stand, while on a couple of other occasions the winners’ attack came within inches of making that final scoring pass.

A horror scenario for Corofin of not scoring in the first half was avoided in the 28th minute when Tomás Costello showed admirable persistence when pointing from play. Shortly after, Alan O’Donovan also found the range from a placed ball before Costello again hit the target from play to leave Corofin just 1-3 to 0-3 behind at half-time.

After a pretty disastrous first period for Corofin, that interval deficit was certainly in the recoverable category, but with just 50 seconds gone on the clock at the start of the second half, their task had again slipped into the ‘mountain to climb’ category when Tuam struck for their second major score.

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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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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