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

Archive News

Heroic U-21 footballers put paid to ÔunbeatableÕ Cork



Date Published: {J}

ON A disappointing weekend for Galway teams, the magnificent county U-21 footballers pulled off one of the sporting shocks of the year so far when topping a supposedly ‘unbeatable’ Cork outfit in an absorbing All-Ireland semi-final at Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday evening. Alan Mulholland and his management team eked out a Trojan effort from their squad which now faces an intriguing showdown against Cavan.

With the Galway hurlers spurning a second chance of reaching the National League final down in Walsh Park, the Galway United and Mervue United teams coming to grief in their League of Ireland ties, the Galway camogie team falling to their bogey team Wexford in the National League decider in Thurles and Connacht losing heavily to Cardiff at the Sportsground, the achievement of the U-21 footballers gained even more credibility.

After Cork had demolished Kerry in the Munster final, they were being hailed as the greatest team to ever emerge from the county at this level. Backboned by senior players, Ciaran Sheehan and Aidan Walsh, the Rebels were strong favourites to advance to the U-21 decider but, instead, were brought crashing back to earth by a defiant Galway team which had been clearly under-estimated.

Whether Cork got caught up in all the hype about them or were just guilty of over-confidence, the bottom line is that Galway thoroughly deserved their 1-11 to 0-12 victory with the midfield partnership of Man of the Match Thomas Flynn and Fiontán Ó Curraoin proving their trump card. Ultimately, it was the hard working Michael Boyle’s wonderfully created second-half goal which propelled the young Tribesmen to their first All-Ireland final at this level in six years.

But Galway had laid down a marker from the throw-in. An early Flynn point showed that they weren’t overawed by Cork’s reputation, but some inaccurate shooting prevented them from reflecting their outfield control on the scoreboard. In fact, Cork fought back to lead by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval and when they went four points clear early in the second-half, it appeared Galway had shot their bolt and were running out of steam as well.

This was the team’s crisis period, but they rose to the challenge in magnificent style. Mark Hehir and Eric Monaghan picked off a couple of crucial points before substitute Adrian Murphy delivered the key pass for Boyle to shoot low into the Cork net. With Aidan Walsh now off the field injured, the Munster champions bravely tried to rescue the situation, but the damage was done and Galway’s tails were up with Michael Farragher’s late point putting the seal on a stirring victory.

Now, in the space of a few weeks, Galway football’s stock has risen dramatically. After a run of five consecutive defeats and poor performances by the county’s seniors in the National League, there was widespread gloom around the place with many supporters openly fearing that Galway were heading for a long period in the doldrums. Granted, Finian Hanley and company didn’t avoid relegation to Division Two, but an away victory over Armagh and a battling home draw against Dublin in their final two league outings lifted morale considerably.

But it’s the continued success of the Galway U-21s and the emergence of several quality footballers which has breathed new hope around the place. Of course, Mulholland’s talented group of players must now complete the deal against Cavan on Sunday week in Croke Park and that is a game they will be strong favourites to win which brings added pressure. At least, what happened to Cork should ensure that Galway don’t get ahead themselves in the build up to that final.

For more, read 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

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