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Winner all right as Mulholland set to land football job

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Date Published: {J}

Dara Bradley

Alan Mulholland now looks certain to become the first Galway native since Liam Sammon’s reign which ended in 2009 – and only the second Galway native in well over a decade – to manage the Galway senior football squad.

The Salthill bookmaker has a ‘free run’ to land the position, after the withdrawal of the three other contenders, including former Galway minor manager Gerry Fahy, who formally bowed out of the race on Monday night.

Mulholland is the only man, of the four who were nominated, to formally confirm to the Football Board his interest in the taking over the position – Sligo manager Kevin Walsh pulled out of the race after committing to the Yeats County; and Billy Joyce has also withdrawn his name.

Last week a selection committee was put together and includes, Football Board Chairman, John Joe Holleran, Football Board Secretary, Seamus O’Grady, former Galway senior football manager, Liam Sammon, and two delegates Gearóid Denver (Micheál Breathnach) and Gerry Hussey (Dunmore).

This committee was due to interview all the hopefuls for the job; and its members will still meet with Mulholland next Tuesday night even though he’s the only candidate remaining.

Mulholland, who led the U-21s to All-Ireland success this year and the Galway minors to All-Ireland success in 2007, will outline his backroom team and plans on how he hopes to replicate that success at senior level.

Dónal Ó Flatharta (An Spidéal), a selector with Mulholland at minor and U-21, and Tuam Stars trainer Alan Flynn, a selector/trainer with Mulholland this season, are expected to be among the backroom team.

The length of the tenure of fourth manager in as many years will also be negotiated.

This week, long-serving Galway star, Pádraic Joyce, said the new manager should be given three or four years at the helm to develop younger players. Joyce admitted Galway are “well down the pecking order in terms of winning All-Irelands” but that can change in a couple of years, not after six or 12 months, he said.

The Killererin man added that “whoever gets the job should have a bit of continuity” and should be afforded at least three years to develop and mould the county’s underage talent.

Delegates had been assured by the Board executive that following two unsuccessful one-year stints with ‘outsiders’ – Joe Kernan and Tomás Ó Flatharta – the county would shop local for the manager this year.

The interview committee will make a recommendation to delegates at the next board meeting. Meanwhile, the replay between Cortoon Shamrocks and Mountbellew/Moylough is scheduled for this Sunday at Tuam Stadium with a 4.15pm throw-in following stalemate last weekend.

The draw after extra time, the worst possible result for the ‘fixtures men’ has caused a fixtures nightmare for an already delayed senior club football championship.

It means the county semi-finals and final may have to be delayed further. The semi-finals are pencilled in for the first week in October; and the county final is due to take place on October 17, although this could now be pushed back.

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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