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‘Hen parties’ causing havoc with camogie fixtures in Galway



Date Published: {J}

“GETTING the house in order” was just one of the recommendations made in relation to the fixtures debate which brought stirring arguments from many of the delegates who attended the County Camogie Board AGM at the Lough Rea Hotel & Spa on Monday evening.

Chairperson Geraldine McGrath argued “that many clubs had stooped to the lowest levels” to get matches called off during the summer. Clearly, infuriated, the Chairperson went on to say that “hen parties and 21st birthdays” were the excuses used week on week to have games postponed.

“Until we get our fixtures going, we are going nowhere”, added the Chairperson. She said it was a credit to the fixtures committee that all competitions, with the exclusion of the minor championship were concluded by early November, but said next year the possibility of playing clubs matches while the All Ireland senior championship was in progress would have to be looked at.

The Camogie Board stressed it is their prime aim to finish the minor competitions by the end of the calendar year. The U18 ‘B’ final between St. Thomas and Salthill will go ahead this weekend, despite a proposal from St. Thomas’ delegate Marline Connolly that the final be re-fixed for next February.

The minor ‘A’ semi finals featuring Sarsfields against Mullagh, and Killimor against Athenry will also go ahead this weekend, with the final to be played the following week.

Assistant Secretary Pauline Mitchell thanked everyone for their courtesy and co-operation with regard to fixtures, but stated that “getting the mindset right” was crucial for future years.

In relation to finance, the County Board experienced a deficit of expenditure over income of €18,165 this year. That gap is expected to be narrowed considerably as much of the money from the car draw had still to come in from clubs. However, many delegates pointed out that due to the current economic climate, they were finding it extremely difficult to finance their own clubs, let alone provide for the County.

Chairperson Geraldine McGrath pleaded with clubs to “come up with a solution for a fundraising idea” as clubs cannot continue to be “exhausted” in this regard.

Accountant Mary Thornton alluded to the extreme costs of the senior team, which was also picked up by Athenry delegate Julie Carr. However, it was revealed that the cost of the senior team decreased dramatically in comparison with 2008 with the total sum for 2009 coming to €30,383. Camogie Board Secretary Ann Kearney said that County teams only received the “bare minimum” this year.

Cappatagle clubman Noel Finn was unopposed in his elevation from intermediate to senior team manager. Nine clubs, Oranmore/Maree Kiltormer, Mullagh, Portumna, Kiltullagh/Killimordaly, Cappatagle, Ardrahan, Turloughmore and Ballinasloe, supported Finn for the position.

Salthill delegate Joe Maguire proposed Finn for the senior job at the meeting and it was seconded by Kiltullagh/Killimordaly delegate Frank Duane. The decision is subject to ratification by the Executive Committee, but that will be a formality after outgoing manager Liam Donoghue informed the board prior to the meeting that he was not interested in seeking a second year.

Finn, who has guided Galway to two All Ireland Intermediate titles this decade plus the junior crown in 2003, pointed out that there will be a change in his background team for the upcoming season.

Chairperson Geraldine McGrath stressed the need for a “good relationship between the senior and intermediate players” but warned that only players that were needed be used by the senior management in 2010.

For more, read page 46 of this week’s Galway 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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