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West’s destiny in own hands as Oranmore title bid falters

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Date Published: {J}

Mike Rafferty

On the last occasion these sides were to meet West United raised the while flag and surrendered the points as just seven players were available for a home game against Oranmore. The Claddagh-based side were in the middle of a crisis and the following week they requested the postponement of a game against Corrib Rangers.

They shipped plenty of criticism at that time, but there is something tribal about West and in adversity they regrouped and not only had a good squad on the sideline in Oranmore on Saturday, but plenty of foot soldiers for support as well.

At the final whistle they all departed content as a 5-3 victory left their Western Hygiene Supplies Premier Division survival in their own hands for a change.

Meanwhile fellow relegation candidates Salthill Devon showed some bottle themselves when sharing the spoils with Athenry, and it is down to the final games to see who goes down with Dynamo Blues.

The top of the table is equally challenging. Leaders Mervue Unite were not in action, but watched in amazement from their pole position as two of the challengers slipped up and certainly in the case of Oranmore ended their title ambitions.

Defending champions Athenry just picked up one point from two home outings, with a 4-2 home defeat against the Students really sapping the morale.

Meanwhile Hibernians have moved into second position as the Bohermore side used their games in hand to good advantage and have gone up the table almost unnoticed.

Oranmore 3

West United 5

With Oranmore having lost its way and on a losing streak, one can just imagine the West United pre match team talk, with the “get stuck in” philosophy being the polite version of the instructions!

And get struck in they did as two early goals had them in the driving seat before the home side woke from their slumber and in fairness responded very well to lead by 3-2 at the break.

The resumption saw parity for a spell, before West introduced some of their more seasoned performers and the final quarter was all about the visitors as they rattled home three without reply as the home challenge wilted.

West made the perfect start straight just after the kickoff as a little dink over the top released Enda Farragher and one of the more youthful members of the side ran on and opened their account.

Just 16 minutes had elapsed when Mathias O’Malley chested down a long punt, before turning and lobbing the advancing Conor Leydon for a 2-0 advantage.

Mike Fahy kick-started the Oranmore recovery just before the half hour mark as he chipped over Tony Cooke and occasional player manager Ollie Neary led by example by levelling matters as he hammered in a 25 yard screamer off the underside of the crossbar.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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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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