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Thornton in top 15 in Great North Run



Date Published: {J}

GALWAY City Harrier’s leading man Gary Thornton had another fantastic run in finishing 14th in the Great North Run in Newcastle in the UK last weekend. Thornton went out hard, breaking 5k in 14:30 and was right among the leaders breaking 10k in a time of 29:55. It was tough going in the end but he held on bravely for an outstanding finish time 65:24.

The race was won by Ethiopian legend and world marathon record holder Haile Gebresalaisse in a time of 59:33. This is a second brilliant run from Thornton in as many weeks – he came fifth in the Great Yorkshire 10k in 29:30, only 40 seconds behind the winner Craig Mottram of Australia.

Thornton is expected to take part in the inaugural Grey Lake 10k in Loughrea on Sunday. This is the first time that the historic race has moved beyond its traditional 5 mile distance, and it is hotly anticipated in Irish running circles.

Many elite athletes will be on show including Freya Murray, the hugely impressive winner of the 2010 Great Ireland Run, who won the event last year. All of the top Galway clubs will have strong teams on show, and everyone involved in the running scene in Galway will be present.

In other senior athletics news, Athenry AC’s Claire McNamara won the Northern Ireland Pentathlon with a combined score of 3807, well clear of her nearest rival Claire Wilkinson of Ballymena.

Several Galway athletes put in exceptional performances at the Connacht Secondary Schools Combined Events which took place last Friday in Athlone IT.

There was double glory in the Minor age category where Craughwell AC’s Damien O’Boyle (representing Calasanctius Oranmore) took the Connacht title in the boys’ event and Sinead Treacy (St Raphael’s Loughrea) took the title in the girls’ event with 1471 points.

Maria McNamara (Pres Athenry) posted an exceptional 2524 points to take the Connacht title in the Junior Girls category. This age group provided rich rewards also for Sinead Gaffney (Pres Athenry) who racked up 2396 points to claim the silver medal and for Ella Bryan (St Raphael’s Loughrea) who scored 2089 points to take the bronze medal.

Craughwell’s Ciara Greene (Bower Athlone) took the bronze medal in the Minor Girls event with 1261 points, with Ellen Treacy (Loughrea VS) taking 4th place with 1213 points and Conor O’Donoghue (Pres Athenry) in 4th place in the Minor Boys’ category.

Katie O’Donoghue of Craughwell AC (Pres Athenry) finished close to the medals in the Intermediate Girls category with a score of 2093 points, with Karen Roche (St Raphael’s Loughrea) and Melissa Mullins (Gort CS) also battling bravely in the same event and Diarmuid Prendergast (Loughrea VS) in the Junior Boys category.

Shaun Gallagher (St Raphael’s Loughrea) competed strongly in the Intermediate Boys category where Niall Rooney (Athenry VS) had an impressive performance and will be close to or in the medals in the same age group but at the time of writing, that result has not been announced.

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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