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Joyce is back for first round with exiles



Date Published: 30-Apr-2010

IT’S shaping up to be one whale of a Galway exiles party this weekend in the Big Apple . . . but Joe Kernan will be keeping his mind firmly focused on football matters when his charges take on New York in Gaelic Park on Sunday.

With 500 plus Galway supporters taking to the skies over the Atlantic for this Connacht championship preliminary round tie (4pm New York time, 9pm Irish), a good Irish hooley looks to be guaranteed.

Joe Kernan had his selection business seen to before Galway got airborne on Thursday from Dublin Airport, with Padraic Joyce making a welcome return to attack where he will wear the no. 14 jersey.

Joyce’s return, after a long lay-off due to Achilles tendon trouble, will be a major draw with the GAA fans in New York, in a week where Michael Meehan was also confirmed as Galway captain for the coming season – Joe Bergin is the vice-captain.

A number of players won’t be travelling to New York because of a clash with third level exams, including Sean Armstrong, Paul Conroy, David Reilly, Conor Healy and Gareth Bradshaw.

Michael Meehan is making steady progress following the knee injury he suffered against Kerry and he should be on course for a gradual return to action in three to four weeks time.

“Michael has to take things slowly and steadily with his knee injury. He won’t be rushing back but overall the prognosis is good – things could have been an awful lot worse,” said Kernan.

The Corofin duo of Kieran Fitzgerald and Alan Burke come into the full back line with Damien Burke moving to no. 7. Barry Cullinane partners Niall Coleman at midfield. Gary Sice and Joe Bergin flank Fiachra Breathnach on the ‘40’ while the full forward line of Eoin Concannon, Padraic Joyce and Nicky Joyce has plenty of scoring power.

“It will be a wonderful weekend for Galway people in New York especially with 900 booked in for the Friday night cruise on the Hudson River.

“But we have to retain our focus on the game itself. This is the start of the championship for us – we are over here to play a football match and to win it,” said Kernan.

Galway Football Board Chairman, John Joe Holleran, said that he was heartened by the level of support Galway would enjoy over the weekend in New York.

“It looks as if well over 500 people will travel to support the team and that’s encouraging in these tough economic times.

“Over 900 people will attend the function on the yacht in the Hudson Bay on Friday night. It will be a great social weekend but there’s a match as well and we want Galway to put in a good performance,” said Holleran.

The three deck Cornucopia Majesty, which hosts the party, is one of the world’s biggest yachts and is a venture organised by Dunmore exile Jimmy Glynn.

It will though be a ‘dry night’ for the Galway squad with their first few pints coming on Sunday night . . . hopefully after a Connacht semi-final place against either Mayo or Sligo on June 27 has been booked. Then the real business will begin.


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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