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Inspired Breathnachs pull off shock win over Mountbellew



Date Published: {J}

Mícheál Breathnach 1-11

Mountbellew/ Moylough 0-12

Alan Dooley at Pearse Stadium

MICHEÁL Breathnach pulled off the shock of the weekend in the Galway senior football championship by claiming the scalp of 2010 county finalists Mountbellew/Moylough at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. A game that looked set for extra time with the sides level as four minutes of additional time began was dramatically decided in the Inverin side’s favour by stunning points from Fiach Ó Bearra and Cian Ó Griallais.

Having just levelled matters for the fourth time through Alan Sweeney, Mountbellew/Moylough looked the more likely winners as the clock ticked beyond 60 minutes. With the lion’s share of possession at the death, the north Galway side pressed for a winner but, while trying to work a shooting chance as Mícheál Breathnach pulled 13 men behind the ball, Ó Bearra nipped in to steal possession in midfield.

The young forward darted into open territory and had options to pass but held his nerve superbly to land a critical score. There was still time for more drama as Mountbellew/Moylough were reduced to 13 men by referee James Molloy after an altercation between Seosaimh Ó Connaire and David Hogan saw the Mountbellew attacker rightly dismissed along with team mate Mark Geraghty.

Two minutes yet remained for Mountbellew to rescue their season – extra time would have rendered the red cards meaningless – but they were soon forced to chase a goal when Cian Ó Griallais displayed remarkable stamina so late in the game by galloping forward from corner back to fire over the bar from a tight angle; a raised fist marked the significance of the score.

The final whistle sparked joyous scenes as Mícheál Breathnach, with their first win of the season, held onto their place in senior football for another year while Mountbellew/Moylough’s roadmap for the rest of the year will now revolve around a relegation playoff with St. Michael’s rather than a renewed tilt at capturing the Frank Fox Cup.

They really only had themselves to blame, conceding a soft goal in the early stages while playing with the elements and then failing to engineer a lead to protect by the interval. There were flashes of good football which centred mainly on the efforts of Joe Bergin and Sean Sweeney, but at no point did they ever truly look worthy of their pre-match favourite’s tag.

Breathnach’s win was made all the more noteworthy by the absence of one of their star forwards in the shape of Peadar Óg Ó Gríofa, initially named as a sub but ultimately ruled out entirely. It fell to Sean Denvir to take up the slack and while he was industrious throughout, it was his contribution in the opening five minutes that was most telling.


A second minute point from Denvir into the wind opened the scoring and let Mountbellew/Moylough know they were in for a tough afternoon. Caomhín Mac an tSaoir showed tremendous agility to make a flying stop from David Neary at the other end moments later, but the green flag was soon waving as Denvir weaved past two unimpressive challenges before seeing his low shot saved by Brian Donnellan, but the Breathnach’s man reacted sharpest to rattle the net.

Shaken, Mountbellew hit back with points from Cathal Kenny and Sean Sweeney, before Peadar Ó Cionnaith and David Neary traded scores to make it 1-2 to 0-3 after the opening quarter. Mícheál Breathnach were displaying astute composure in possession and a well worked score from Donal Ó Curraoin followed before Diarmuid Ó Maoileoin wasted a gilt edged opportunity for a second goal for the Connemara men.

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

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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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