THEY travelled in their thousands to Croke Park on Sunday and they turned out in their droves to honour Galway’s camogie heroes around the county on their homecoming tour the following day. It was a fitting tribute to a remarkable feat.
No doubt, September 15, 2013 will be a date that will live forever in the minds and hearts of Galway camogie.
For it was not only the day that saw the county’s senior side claim the O’Duffy Cup for only the second time ever but it was also a day when the Galway intermediate outfit completed a remarkable double at GAA headquarters by winning the McGrath Cup.
The latter, having lost last year’s decider after a replay, had set the tone when defeating Limerick by 0-12 to 0-10 in the intermediate decider before the senior outfit showed true grit and character to banish their own demons when accounting for Kilkenny by 1-9 to 0-7 in the main event.
Interestingly, the man who spearheaded the extraordinary accomplishment of two All-Ireland wins on the same afternoon was the same person who managed Galway to their first senior victory back in 1996. That man was Sarsfields’ Tony Ward.
Already, his place in the pantheon of Galway camogie was secure following the ’96 victory but, surely now, he will enter local and, indeed, national folklore. “I don’t know about folklore but it is a great feeling,” laughed Ward afterwards.
When asked how it equated to that historic win in ’96, he said it was difficult to draw comparisons. “It is different because ’96 was just pure disbelief that it could have happened.
A lot of the girls were so young in ’96 as well and if somebody told us that time that it would be 2013 before we would win the next one, it would have been very hard to believe.”
That said, for the long serving Therese Maher, who had already lost five All-Ireland finals in her 16-year senior career, her overriding sentiment would have mirrored her predecessors in ’96 – pure disbelief.
“I think, initially, it is very hard [to come back year after year] once you lose. But you put the gear bag away and then everyone else is getting it out again and going out training. This year, the management were very good I have to say. I did my own bit of training in the winter season and in March/April I started to get that feeling of ‘would the body be able for one more year?’
“When you enjoy it though and it is something you have played for almost all of your life and love, I am so glad I went back now. Today makes up for all of those [other defeats].”
See full coverage in news and sport in this week’s Connacht Tribune
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at email@example.com
WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!
Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.
A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.
Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.
Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down.
The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.
Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.
Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.
However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.
“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.
Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.
Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.
“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.
There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.