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Heartbreak for St Mary’s



Date Published: 09-Mar-2012

 ST Mary’s College suffered heartbreak in the FAI Senior Schools’ Cup semi-final in Tullamore yesterday when they lost on penalties to this season’s surprise packets, St Aidan’s Community College of Cork.

The Galway side, bidding for their third final in seven years, went into the game as favourites against a school that only won the Munster title for the first time last month, but the Cork side shaded the game throughout and were deserved winners of what was an energy-sapping game played on a poor surface.

St Mary’s twice came from behind in normal time as the game finished 2-2, and with neither side able to find the breakthrough in extra-time, the tie went down to the dreaded penalty shoot-out, and it was St Aidan’s who held their nerve in sports cruellest lottery to advance to a final against Malahide of Dublin in the Tallaght Stadium in just under two weeks.

St Aidan’s got off to a dream start when opening the scoring in the first minute. St Marys lost possession from the kick-off, and the Cork full-back Sean O’Callaghan made good ground down the right before being fouled.

Darren Murphy, the game’s outstanding player, whipped in a great ball from the right, and O’Callaghan ran across the defensive line to power a header past Tadhg O’Malley in the St Mary’s goal.

It was a sharp shock to the system for St Mary’s, but they were almost back in the game in the 10th minute when Dave Mooney’s ball into the penalty area was only half-cleared by a St Aiden’s defender, but Aaron McGinty’s volley from the edge of the box flew over the crossbar.

St Mary’s were doing most of the pressing, and they finally got back on level terms inthe 27th minute. Osaige – a big strong player who caused the St Aidan’s defence plenty of problems – played a ball in from the right, but Colm Kirrane had it taken off his toe by


The ball broke for Mooney, who swivelled and hit it first time, and the ball hit the far post and bobbled across the goal-line, with assistant referee Paul Tone indicating the ball crossed the line.

The goal celebrations were short-lived, however, as St Aidan’s were back in front within 60 seconds thanks to a stunning effort from Evan Kearney. A mix-up inside the St Mary’s half allowed Kearney to steal possession, and he advanced a couple of yards before hitting a blistering shot which flew into the net, giving O’Malley no chance.

Credit to St Mary’s, they didn’t let the heads drop, and they got back on level terms for a second time six minutes later with a cracking goal of their own.

St Aidan’s ‘keeper Chris Mullane could only punch a Mooney corner to the edge of the box, where it was met on the volley by Sean O’Fhlatharta who hit a looping effort into the top corner.

Chances were at a premium in the second half, although St Mary’s substitute Colm Devery had a couple of glorious chances to fire his side into the lead.

St Aidan’s had their fair share of misfortune in the second half as well, the Cork side hitting the woodwork on two occasions, as the game went into extra time. Both sides were tiring at this stage, and it was the Cork outfit who looked the most dangerous, particularly through the boot of Murphy, a member of Cork City’s Airtricity League Premier Division squad.

When the game went to penalties St Mary’s were up first, but Browne hit his effort wide, but Kearney’s effort hit the crossbar.

Mullane saved McGinty’s effort to put the Cork side back in the driving seat, and while Darcy, Mooney and Harry Goulding were all successful with their efforts, St Aidan’s converted all four of their kicks after Kearney’s efforts to break Galway hearts.

For a more detailed report see this week’s City 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

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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.

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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