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

Archive News

Bad year for Galway heaps pressure on Kernan



Date Published: {J}

NO matter how hard you try to beat around the bush, there is no escaping the fact that it’s been a disastrous year for Galway football. An indifferent National League campaign has been followed by a premature championship exit after four summer performances which summed up the county’s difficulties and underlined the team’s limitations.

Perhaps, supporters should have heeded the warning signals in retrospect. Finishing in No Man’s Land in the League and shipping a couple of heavy defeats along the way, especially with a new management calling the shots, were ominous. Galway just didn’t sparkle and with injury problems making life even harder, it wasn’t the ideal preparation for the championship.

The venerable Padraic Joyce spoke publicly after Sunday’s depressing championship exit to an ordinary enough if spirited Wexford outfit at Pearse Stadium in the All-Ireland qualifiers. His despair was obvious but he didn’t back away from calling it as it was – Galway footballers “had let the county down.”

The same Joyce, by some distance the oldest player on the squad, was again outstanding in the maroon jersey. With four points from play and a work ethic which embarrassed players ten years his junior, the Killererin man did all he could to prevent Galway from making another early departure from the championship. He simply oozed class and if this was the last occasion we shall see him in a Galway jersey – and why should it be, given the way he is playing – Joyce deserved a far better send off than this.

Once again, Galway looked to have carried the day as the match drifted into its closing stages. A Gary O’Donnell point in the 66th minute pushed them two clear, 0-13 to 1-8, but they were unable to close the deal as the last three points fell to Wexford just as the same thing had happened against Sligo at Markievicz Park the previous Saturday evening.

Those late scores from the impressive Ciaran Lyng (two) and Adrian Flynn secured a rousing victory for a Wexford team which had troubled periods at the start of both halves, but still managed to show more resilience than their hosts. Barely two and a half thousand people turned up in Pearse Stadium on a rain-soaked afternoon to witness another sobering day for Galway football and the local fans must have been appalled at how far the team has fallen in recent seasons.

Though playing their third game in a fortnight, Galway had shot out of the blocks by storming into an early four points lead with Joyce doing all the damage. Wexford were looking out of their depth, but they gradually settled and by the 23rd minute had squared the match with an effort from Colm Morris. It could have been even better for the 2008 All-Ireland semi-finalists as it took a fine reflex stop from Adrian Faherty to deny Redmond Barry a clear-cut goal scoring opportunity.

By this juncture, Cormac Bane had been introduced to the Galway attack and though it wasn’t a surprise that the Caherlistrane clubman was pressed into action so quickly, the replacing of young Eoin Concannon, who had already been involved in a couple of his team’s scores, did raise eyebrows. Bane, however, went on to land four points from play in a quality performance which raised the obvious question – why wasn’t he started?

The Galway management had also dropped Diarmuid Blake with Kieran Fitzgerald taking over at centre back and David Reilly promoted to the full back line. Initially, they looked more secure at the back but, by the end of the match, the rearguard was again in big trouble while the Tribesmen’s midfield wasn’t a factor when the going got tough and the hard ball needed to be won.

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