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

Archive News

London Olympics is the target of top Galway boxer



Date Published: {J}

GALWAY Boxing Club’s Patrick Corcoran may be collecting his third County Galway Sports Stars Award at the black-tie event this Saturday night, but the talented 20-year-old insists he has still to realise his full potential in his chosen sport.

That is good news for local boxing enthusiasts and a frightening thought for his competitors … for Corcoran is a powerful exponent with very real ambitions of becoming an Olympic boxer. If Corcoran, who also received Sports Stars awards in 2006 and 2008, gets to bear the shamrock at London 2012, he is determined to make his mark.

“I think 2012 is the best route for me,” says the Headford Road native. “In 2012, I will be 22, and that is when you are in your prime. So, I think 2012 is the best way to go. Winning the seniors is the stepping stone to do that, so that is the first obstacle for me. The Olympics would be my dream, though, to be honest.”

Indeed, first things first. If Corcoran is to realise the dream, he must claim an Irish senior crown to put himself in contention for a coveted place on the Olympic ticket. Easier said than done but, then again, you underestimate the ability of Corcoran at your peril.

At the age of 16, he secured his first Irish youth title, before months later – just as he had turned 17 – he went and claimed the 2006 Irish intermediate title when he knocked out Phelim Halligan of Mayo in the decider. The previous night, the Castlegar fighter had accounted for 33-year-old former Irish senior international Tom Murray in the semi-final.

Indeed, it proved a great night for Galway Boxing Club, as cousins Patrick and Michael Ward also captured Irish titles on the same night. For Corcoran, though, it rounded off a hugely successful year, in which he also won a gold medal at the Four Nations youth tournament involving England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland that Spring.

In the ensuing years, Corcoran claimed All-Ireland U-21 titles in 2007, 2008 and, more recently, in 2009 – a feat never achieved by any Galway boxer before. Last December’s 7-2 victory over Kiril Afanasev of Smithfield BC, completing the hat-trick of titles, was even more impressive given Corcoran had been sidelined for most of the year with a serious hand injury that he had picked up in his 2008 U-21 final victory over Martin Stokes of Letterkenny.

“Yeah, I was out for seven or eight months,” reflects Corcoran. “Every time I fought after I first hurt it, I was going back to square one. So, I gave it seven or eight months of rest. Unfortunately, the injury couldn’t be picked up in an x-ray, but the physiotherapist told me that it was fractured.

“So, I gave it time off. I could do some running, but the slightest thing would aggravate it. Even using weights, it would aggravate it and it wouldn’t heal. Eventually, I started training two months before those U-21s and the hand was grand. It was back to normal.”

Still, Corcoran finds it hard to put into words the level of frustration he felt during the lengthy lay-off. “When I fought in the seniors (last February), I fought the current intermediate champion, Pat Coyle, and I stopped him in the first round with a body shot. But when I hit him the body shot, I hurt my hand again, so I had to pull out of the seniors.

“That was a year down the drain, and that was really annoying. That was the first round of the seniors and it had been a good start for me. But I had to pull out. I wouldn’t even attempt to fight on because the seniors are top-notch. Going in with a bad hand wouldn’t be very smart really.”

What added to the disappointment was that Corcoran had high hopes for those senior championships early in 2009. The previous year, he had reached the semi-finals, only to be beaten by Tommy Sheehan of St. Michael’s. The Athy fighter was subsequently defeated by Con Sheehan of Clonmel in the final.

“Connie has won the last two titles,” outlines Corcoran. “When he won the first year, I got to the semi-final. I got beaten by the guy he beat in the final. If I had won, it would have been two 18 year olds in the final, which I don’t think ever happened before. It would have been good.

“ I had fought, myself, three of those days in a row. I was wrecked and even though I was beaten, fair and square, it was really good experience. It was the year of the Olympics, so I think they were preparing fighters for that by having them fight (one bout after the other).

For more, read page 50 of 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

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