Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Athenry and Ballinasloe chase Connacht Cup glory



Date Published: {J}

Mike Rafferty

AT least one record is going to be broken following Sunday’s Connacht Junior Cup (3.30pm) decider in Lecarrow as both Athenry and Ballinasloe Town are unbeaten in four final appearances between them down the years. The defending champions have won the title on three occasions, while Ballinasloe were winners in their only decider in 2004.

Indeed Athenry are appearing in their fourth final in five seasons, while Ballinasloe were the first team from the Roscommon League to win the Connacht Cup when goals from Jason Twohig and Vinny Doherty saw off Manulla by 2-1 in a historic victory in Milebush.

Both clubs have a successful record in their respective leagues in recent years with Town just denied a five-in-a-row by Shiven Rovers last season, while West United’s success in Galway two seasons ago denied Athenry a hat trick of titles.

Athenry completed a Premier League and Connacht Cup double last season, while Ballinasloe annexed the Challenge Cup and the Divisional Cup. Both are also in contention for domestic League and Cup honours again this season.

Both sides have played through five rounds of the cup to date with Ballinasloe scoring an average of almost four goals per game with Liam Lynch (6) and Peter Keighery (4) sharing half the goals between them. Indeed, former Longford Town striker Lynch has been pretty prolific throughout as he has scored in the last four rounds.

Easy wins in the early rounds over Clew Bay (8-1), Quayside Celtic (3-0) and Iorras Aonthaithe (2-0) were followed up by two very different and difficult games. In the last eight, top Sligo side Carbury were despatched by 3-2 following extra time as Mark Duffy (2) and Lynch were on the mark.

Ballinasloe followed this up with an equally impressive 3-2 semi final win over Hibernians. While the home side took an early lead courtesy of a Peter Keighery penalty, they found themselves in arrears at the break as Liam Hrehorow and Keith Ward had the City side in the driving seat.

However, Ballinasloe responded well on the resumption as a Robbie Brookes volley levelled matters and Lynch headed home a Glen Cambell delivery for a late and merited winner.

Ballymote Celtic (4-0), Mervue United (1-0) and Salthill D

evon (5-1) were dismissed in the opening three rounds by Athenry before had to rely on a late Declan Cullen winner as they came from behind to defeat Boyle Celtic by 2-1.

In was equally difficult in the semi final, as goals by Emmett Byrne and Seamie Crowe eventually got them past neighbours Oranmore by 2-1. Indeed it took a late penalty save by Kieran Kilkelly to guarantee their passage.

The lack of a mainstream striker probably explains while Alan O’Donovan, Benny Lawless, Declan Cullen and Simon Murray have shared ten of their goals between them.

The success of Athenry down the years has been built on a seasoned and experience selection that almost picks itself. Goalkeeper Kilkelly and the back four of Stephen Rabbitte, Paddy Quinn, Emmett Byrne and Ronan Kinneen have being playing together for years.

Further afield O’Donovan, O’Driscoll, Delaney and Forde will probably be the midfield quartet, while if free from injury Junior International Seamie Crowe seem sure to start, maybe playing just off the front man.

Benny Lawless, Simon Murray, Brian Mannion, Mark Moran and Declan Cullen are all competing for a starting position upf ront and it is a task that only manager Gabriel Glavin can solve.

Glavin has a long association with the club. As assistant to Timmy Holian he was very much part of their early success and his progress to the top position last season has been pretty seamless. He see’s the contest as a toss up: “Both are teams used to success and while we have confidence in our ability, it is all down to what happens on the day.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading