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Thousands of Galway hurling fans set for ticket heartbreak

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 22-Aug-2012

Thousands of Galway hurling fans are set for All-Ireland disappointment with the county’s ticket allocation understood to be just in excess of 12,000 – around 7,000 stand and 5,000 terrace – from the 82,300 available in Croke Park on the big day.

Hurling Board Secretary Pat Kearney, who has confirmed that the Galway allocation will be distributed and circulated among the clubs next Monday and Tuesday, conceded supporters may have to use their own initiative if they want to guarantee a seat in Croke Park on September 9.

“I expect close to 25,000 to 30,000 Galway people in Croke Park on the day of the All-Ireland but that will come down to people using their own initiative to get tickets. This All-Ireland final is no different to any other and what they do in other counties is look for tickets in other places and in other counties, much the same way as people would look for tickets going to a concert,” said Kearney.

“You have to remember, this is a national occasion. This is a day for the 32 counties, along with those clubs based overseas. Already this morning, I have had three clubs from London onto me looking for tickets. So, again, it is important to remember that this is a national occasion, not just a county occasion.”

As for Galway’s allocation, they will be largely distributed through the clubs, with the clubs in turn to offer these to those who facilitate the growth and develop of the game locally. In addition, Kearney said it was important those involved in Cumann na mBunscoil, referees and gate men were also catered for.

“Then, we have current senior players – along with the three other teams, minor, intermediates and U-21s – while former senior players will also have to be looked after, if at all possible. That should all be done through the tickets that will be distributed through the clubs, hurling and football.”

Kearney also stressed that tickets will not be available through the County Board office, although they have already been inundated with applications. “We must have between 3,000 to 4,000 people who have already submitted applications,” he said.

“The reality is that we (the Board) will only get between 300 and 400 tickets, so only 10% of those applications will be successful. So, again, I would be advising those people to go to their clubs and, failing that, use their initiative. If people do that, there is no reason why we can’t have in excess of 23,000 or more at the final.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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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

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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