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Archive News

Moore and Regan in the zone



Date Published: 10-Aug-2012

 THE quotes from Galway captain Fergal Moore and defender Tony Óg Regan stare out from the computer screen. The message from the two men, by and large, is the same . . . as it has been from many of Galway’s fallen heroes over the past two decades.

So, what’s new this time round? What’s the angle? What’s the spin? There is none. And that, in itself, is a powerful message. For it’s not the content that stands out on this occasion; it is the manner in which the two men deliver it.

Both interviews are controlled, emotionless and, to a point, disconnected but the eyes don’t lie. It is as if Moore and Regan are already in the zone, already visualising what has to be done come 3:30pm on Sunday. There is a steely focus and while they recognise this is all part of the process, there is little or no pandering to the media horde that has descended on Athenry Castle for the press night. Just a quiet acceptance that this has to be done.

Yes, there are familiar greetings – and smiles – but psychologically, you sense Moore and Regan are in another place. August 12th, Croke Park. The moment. For it’s all about the ‘here and now’ and not looking beyond those 70 minutes against Cork.

So, if you looking for affirmation that Galway may end the long wait for the Liam McCarthy Cup, you will not find it in these sports pages . . . or, one suspects, anywhere else. That becomes clear from the off.

In any event, questions have to be asked if column inches are to be filled. Among the first, it is pondered if it has been difficult for the Leinster champions to maintain the level of intensity in training since the 2- 21 to 2-11 victory over Kilkenny.

After all, Galway are coming off the back of a five-week break from competitive action . . . where Cork, who defeated Offaly in the All-Ireland qualifiers on the same weekend, have had games against Wexford and Waterford in the interim.

“You know, it has been easy enough,” says Moore. “Once we watched the DVD of the Leinster final, the second half performance left a lot to be desired in lots of aspects of our play. So, it was great to have the five weeks in many ways to work on those things. And we have been working very hard at training since.

“Also, as I said in the aftermath of the Leinster final, that performance wouldn’t be good enough to win an All-Ireland semi-final. So, we are going to have to up the intensity and up the tackle rate and scoring rate to just compete in an All-Ireland semi-final against Cork. Hopefully, we will do that. We have trained hard to do it and it is all geared now towards the game on Sunday.”

Indeed, if trends are anything to go by, the Galway hurlers have shown an ability to improve with every championship game this year – from Westmeath to Offaly to Kilkenny.

“You have seen it, time and time again, there have been many false dawns and you learn to your cost that one swallow doesn’t make a summer,” states the Turloughmore defender.

For more interviews and previews see this week’s 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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