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Archive News

Weekend washout



Date Published: 24-Nov-2009

THE worst flooding to hit the West of Ireland in decades took its toll on sporting fixtures at the weekend when all outdoor fixtures which were earmarked for venues in Co. Galway were postponed.

No GAA, rugby, or soccer fixtures took place in the city or county, while games involving Galway teams in other parts of the country were called off due to either waterlogged pitches or the inability of teams and supporters to travel.

The biggest fixture to fall by the wayside was the Connacht club football final between Mayo champions Charlestown and holders

Corofin which was due to take place in Charlestown on Sunday.

With many households in the Corofin and Belcare area completely cut off, the Galway champions received notification on Saturday afternoon that the game would not be going ahead 24 hours later.

The final looks set to be re-fixed for the same venue next Sunday, weather permitting, and will at least allow Corofin’s Alan O’Donovan more time to recover from the ankle injury which ruled him out of the semi-final win over the Leitrim champions, Glencar-Manorhamilton.

“We had just announced the team to the players when we were told that the game was off, which wasn’t ideal by any means,” said Corofin manager Gerry Keane yesterday.

“Still, a lot of our supporters are house-bound and at least they knew in advance that they wouldn’t have to travel on Sunday.”

Even with the extra week, Corofin will have to face the Mayo men without inter-county defenders Michael Comer and Kieran Fitzgerald, who are long-term injury victims.

Another fixture to fall victim to the elements was the rugby AIB Cup quarter-final between Dolphin of Cork and Galwegians, which was due to take place in Cork on Saturday afternoon. With massive flooding on Leeside, where 80,000 people have been left without drinking water for at least a week, Dolphin informed ‘Wegians that the fixture could not take place as early as Thursday afternoon.

That game could now be refixed for this coming weekend although, with more heavy rain forecast this week, it may not take place for at least a fortnight.

Soccer side Salthill Devon were given less notice that their fixture had fallen victim to the flooding, as their Eircom League U-20 final against UCD was called off on Friday morning, just hours before the game was due to take place at Belfield in the capital.

Although the ground which was due to host the final had escaped the flooding, which had engulfed the south and west of the country, it was decided to call the game off due to the difficulties which Salthill would have experienced in travelling across the country. On Friday, it took some motorists up to three hours to get through Craughwell after leaving the city.

The game between Salthill Devon and UCD has been re-fixed for Belfield next Tuesday, December 1, at 7.45 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Galway Football Association called off all weekend soccer fixtures in the city and county as early as Thursday afternoon, in response to the unprecedented flooding in places such as Abbeyknockmoy, Claregalway, Craughwell, Gort, and Ballinasloe, which ruled out ‘non-essential’ travel.

Local GAA fixtures also fell victim to the weather, with not one game taking place within the county over Saturday and Sunday.

Among the fixtures called off was the League final between Cortoon Shamrocks and Tuam Stars, which was fixed for Tuam Stadium.

Although the pitch was playable, a number of Cortoon players were unable to make it home for the final. Minor and Intermediate

games involving Leitir Mor were also called off as the Connemara community mourned the deaths of four female NUI Galway students in the horrific car crash on the main Galway to Sligo road, near Milltown, on Tuesday evening.


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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