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

Archive News

Courage and effort can’t mask lack of quality for Galway



Date Published: {J}

Kerry 0-16

Galway 0-8


at Fitzgerald Stadium

Even in the days of plenty, Galway struggled desperately to reap any harvest return from the fields of Kerry, so last Sunday’s trip to Killarney in more straitened times barely carried a feather of expectation.

Alas, that’s the way things turned out at Fitzgerald Stadium in the Allianz National League tie as Kerry sauntered to a double scores victory over a Galway side not short of courage or honesty, but desperately lacking in quality and purpose.

It’s now four straight defeats out of four for Tomás Ó Flatharta as Galway seem destined to stay rooted at the bottom of the league table, and with All-Ireland champions Cork next on the list this coming weekend, there is little sign of any respite.

There were genuine concerns in the wake of the Mayo match that Galway could face annihilation in Killarney, but in fairness they were dogged and resilient even if it was strikingly obvious after the first 25 minutes that their cause was doomed.

Kerry don’t use up any spare fuel when they know that they’re going to be first past the chequered flag, and there was a notable easing of the foot on the throttle early in the second half when they had sailed into an 11-3 lead.

This coincided with a spurt of Galway enthusiasm that yielded four points without reply but the Kerry crowd of around 3,000 never had to breathe too heavily – they knew that the counter surge was always going to come and the ‘Gooch’ was on fire whenever the ball came his way.

The display of Colm Cooper was probably worth the admission money alone. He slithered his way around the Galway defence, jinking and turning into space before invariably kicking points with either his left or right foot. All done with perfect balance and poise.

Beside him, Kieran Donaghy was like a giant basket gathering up any loose balls that came his way, always willing to pick out a colleague in a better position and often that was the ‘Gooch’. Cooper – Kerry’s captain this year – ended up with eight points, five from play, to inflict most damage on the Galway defence.

Ironically his marker, Alan Burke got on a fair bit of ball and did everything humanly possible to try and limit Cooper’s influence, but on his day, the Dr Crokes player is virtually impossible to curtail.

Likewise, Colin Forde did a reasonably decent job in keeping tracks on Donaghy but the big man from Tralee is a handful for any defender – he is the type of player that Galway are crying out for . . . big, mobile, able to play football and not afraid to score either.

Galway played with the aid of the stiffish diagonal wind, and as in their three previous ties, Tomás ó Flatharta’s side started with a reasonable degree of zest, sharing six points with Kerry over the course of the first 13 minutes.

Cormac Bane (free), Eoin Concannon and Gary Sice – thundering upfield from the centre back position – all hit the target for Galway but yet by the time the interval whistle sounded, Kerry had stormed into an 8-3 lead.

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