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

Archive News

Last chance saloon for Galway hurlers



Date Published: {J}

Dara Bradley

IT’S like déjà vu all over again. For what must feel like the umpteenth time for the county’s ‘small ball’ followers, the Galway senior hurling squad face another fork in the road this weekend.

Lose and manager John McIntyre and his backroom personnel probably won’t need to be pushed or shown where the exit door is; lose, and many from the panel of players could well be consigned to the inter-county scrap heap of talent that never reached its full potential. That’s the stark consequences of failure for the Galway camp.

Win and, well, who knows . . . it may delay the inevitable . . . we may, in time, come to look back at the first weekend in July as a defining turning point of the Tribesmen’s season . . . but at the very least, win, and then Galway will tackle the next obstacle, face the next fork in the road, with a tad more confidence than they approach this do-or-die clash.

A win could also go some way to restoring pride in the maroon and white jersey after the Tullamore debacle against Dublin two weeks ago. Make no mistake, the stakes are high as Galway face neighbours Clare – confidence soaring after rattling reigning champions Tipperary in their Munster semi-final defeat a fortnight ago – in phase II of the qualifiers at Pearse Stadium on Saturday (7pm).


It is the biggest inter-county hurling championship match to be played at Pearse Stadium since Tipperary visited in 2003 but it is unlikely to be a massive crowd puller despite the reduced ticket prices – the match is televised ‘live’ on RTE, which will affect attendances, and if anything, Clare supporters could be in the majority, as they have more optimism about their chances than the home fans, still shocked from the Tullamore humbling.

McIntyre and selectors John Hardiman, Joe Connolly and John Moylan, have wielded the axe making five changes in personnel to the starting XV that faced Dublin, with captain Damien Joyce one of the casualties. There are several positional switches, too, as every positional line differs from the Dublin match – just seven players that started the last day retain the same place for Saturday.

Along with Joyce, Éanna Ryan and Aonghus Callanan – both hauled ashore in the Leinster semi-final – also lose out, as does midfielder Barry Daly and Cyril Donnellan, although knee and foot injuries respectively may have conspired against the latter duo, who may feature off the bench at some stage.

Castlegar man Donal Barry comes in at right-half back, alongside centre-back Tony Óg Regan and Adrian Cullinane on the other flank, in a balanced looking half-back selection.

The full-back position has a solid shape to it, too. Shane Kavanagh, number five the last day, returns to full-back, a position the Kinvara man made his own and excelled in all through the league and championship campaigns last season.

Liam Mellow’s David Collins, one of the few Galway players that did well in Tullamore, moves from full-back to left corner back, and Turloughmore’s Fergal Moore, who also wasn’t disgraced against Dublin either in his first championship outing for Galway since the 2009 campaign, switches to the right corner, where he will be tasked with marshalling Clare’s Conor McGrath, who bagged 1-6, 1-2 from play, against Tipp.

Portumna’s Andy Smyth is named in place of Daly at midfield, alongside St Thomas’ David Burke. In another surprising move, Ger Farragher, who has recovered from a knee injury, is selected at a perennial problem area for the county at centre-forward in place of Donnellan, although he may move back to centre-field at some stage renewing his partnership with Burke.

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