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Ironman will extend tourist season and close roads!



Date Published: 14-Aug-2012

 THIS year’s summer calendar most definitely has not ended with the Races, as the returning Ironman 70.3 Ireland triathalon is set to extend the tourist season into September.

Both the County and City Councils have just published their proposed closure orders, mainly only affecting residents and motorists on the actual day of the event, Sunday, September 2.

However, the inconvenience for some will start with the closure of both Salthill car park and Claude Toft car park (playground) at 6am on August 30, to facilitate construction of the transition areas for the event.

While alternative parking will be provided along the prom, the local authority has warned that all vehicles must be removed on the evening before race-day. The car parks will reopen at 6pm on Monday, September 3.

Ironman 70.3 Ireland will begin with ‘wave starts’ from 7am with the 1.9km swim course from Blackrock along a route parallel to the land, before heading inland to the swim exit at Palmers Rock (Western House).

From there, competitors will run to the nearby transition area at the bottom of Salthill Park for the beginning of the 90km cycling event.

This route will bring them east through Upper Salthill, along St Mary’s Road and Newcastle Road. Then right onto Distillery Road, under the N6 at the university, before joining the N59 Clifden Road at Upper Newcastle, and on to Moycullen and Oughterard, turning at Maam Cross to come back along the same route.

To facilitate this, both local authorities have combined to close affected roads from 4am-

2pm on race-day.

Specifically, these will be the main road through Salthill village, from Seapoint to Lenaboy Gardens; Distillery Road, Newcastle Road Lower, Newcastle Road, and St Mary’s Road; the N59 from the Quincentenary Bridge to Maam Cross, including the road to Moycullen and Oughterard.

The 21.1km run course consists of three laps from the transition area in Salthill Park, east along the promenade, past the finish area near Seapoint, out to Claddagh Quay, returning via South Park along the promenade, turning at Black Rock and, after three laps, finish at Seapoint car park.

To facilitate this, on raceday, the road between Threadneedle Road to Nimmo’s Pier at Claddagh Quay, via Seapoint and the Galway Business School, will be closed from 4am-5pm.

Diversions will be in place, to ensure that motorists are not disrupted to a serious degree.

The race, which will be carried by 25 international TV networks, has attracted elite Irish athletes, Melaine Nocher, Philip Lavery, and Lorraine Manning, who will team up to share the swimming, cycling, and running events.

Meanwhile, Irish number one badminton player and Olympian, Scott Evans, will join Roseanna Davidson, and Sean O’Donoghue, on another very competitive team.

And, Olympian and two-time European Indoor 400m champion, David Gillick, who had to pull out of his London Olympic bid due to injury, will be joined by Brad Corbally and Angela Scanlon.

Ruaidhrí Geraghty, of local organisers E&R Events, says that it is still an event focussed on the average person. “It is great to have Olympians come to our event and mix it with the professional and elite Triathletes from around the world, but our race is based on the average person deciding that they are going to change their lives and fulfil a life-long ambition – this is what gives us the most satisfaction,” he says.

“There are very few sports in the world where the average Joe can line up with the best athletes in the world in their chosen sport, this is exactly what happens in an Ironman triathlon.”

To volunteer or take part, visit or add ‘Ironman Ireland’ on Facebook.

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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