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Sun shines for the 124th running of Galway Regatta



Date Published: 21-Jun-2012

With a week of intermittent wind and rain, the signs were not looking good for the 124th running of Galway Regatta on Sunday last, but what a day it turned out to be. With the sun breaking through from early morning, signs were good for a great days racing on the Menlo Straight.

With local club Galway Rowing Club hosting the event, racing kicked off at 9am, and continued right throughout the day until 6pm, with crews from around the country battling for honours over the 700 metre course. And the competition didn’t disappoint, with some very tight finishes throughout the day.

For the host club, it was to prove a rather historic occasion. Not only did the Galway Rowing Club win the Best Overall Club at the regatta, they also collected a few very precious trophies during the day.

Traditionally, the event of the day at the regatta is the Men’s Junior 18 8+, racing for The Anderson Cup, and indeed it proved to be one of many fantastic races on Sunday, with three local clubs battling it out to win the coveted trophy; Coláiste Iognáid, Galway RC and St Josephs ‘The Bish’.

The action kicked off at 3pm, with the high rating Bish crew taking an quick and early lead of almost half a length over the first 200 metres. The Galway RC crew then found their gear and started clawing them back, leaving the 3rd place Jes crew behind. Passing through the enclosure it was Galway that held the momentum, drawing level and passing the Bish 8+.

With a canvas advantage, Galway hoped to push on but the Bish crew gallantly fought back, not willing to give up their grasp on the Trophy they won in 2011, and made it a real race to the line. In the end, it was judged to be a mere one foot that separated the two crews, with the result going to Galway RC, for the first time in 24 years and only the second time in the club’s history.

There were other great victories during the day. The Women’s Senior 4+ event proved to be another great win for Galway RC crew, comprising of Junior 17 girls, who stepped up to race the older and more experienced NUIG crew, and pull off a major upset. Both clubs clashed again in the Women’s Intermediate 8+, with the Galway girls again gaining victory.

NUIG captured the Senior 8+ event, winning by another close one foot margin, in what was another fantastic race on the Corrib. In the Junior 18 8+ event, the Galway crew were racing local Junior rivals, Coláiste Iognáid and that too proved to be another fine performance from both clubs, with victory going to Galway RC.

There was also great wins for the Junior 16 rowers in the club, with wins in the Women’s J16 8+ from Shannon RC, the Women’s J15 4X+, Women’s J15 2X, Women’s J15 1X, Men’s Novice 4X+, Men’s J18 4X.

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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