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Archive News

No fireworks but hurlers answer all the tough questions



Date Published: 16-Aug-2012

 Fergal Moore set the tone with a superb interception under the Hogan Stand four minutes in, but by that stage Cork had already made it clear that they were not going to be swept aside easily as Patrick Horgan (free) and wing forward Jamie Coughlan landed two fine points in response to a superb opening score from Hayes.

Canning opened his account from a 35 metre free in response to a score from Cork centre-forward Cian McCarthy and, perhaps buoyed by the early scoring blitz against Kilkenny, the Portumna sharpshooter opted to go for a goal from a routine 20 metre free – which was blocked on the line by Nash – after just nine minutes.

A needless early gamble, perhaps, but it also gave an early indication of how urgently Galway wanted to take control of this game. Instead, Nash’s save gave a lift to the Rebels.

Paudie O’Sullivan picked off an easy point after a poor clearance from Moore, but Canning reduced the deficit following a foul on Niall Burke and then unleashed a quick pass for Regan to level the tie at four points apiece on 13 minutes.

Donoghue, Moore, and Coen were battling brilliantly in the Galway defence at this stage, while Canning tracked back to help out around midfield, but Horgan edged the Rebels back in front after midfielder Andy Smith was penalised for over-carrying.

Horgan and Canning, following a foul on Iarla Tannian, exchanged points from placed balls before Cork defender Brian Murphy – engaged in a right tussle with Canning – set up O’Sullivan’s second point of the afternoon.

The Rebels must have been delighted to find themselves leading by 0-7 to 0-5 after just over 20 minutes, given the savage intensity the Tribesmen had shown early on against Kilkenny, and it was clear that the outsiders were not going to be shaken off easily.

Canning, fed by young Conor Cooney, pointed following a strong run, but he was not having it all his own way against a hugely committed Murphy. Cooney had a rare goal chance forced out over the line by Nash and Canning converted the resultant ‘65’ to put the teams back on level terms.

Canning had accounted for five of Galway’s seven scores at that stage of a strange, rather shapeless, first half, in which Cork’s short puck-out strategy regularly caught out the Tribesmen.

Horgan edged Cork back in front from a 40 metre free, harshly awarded against young Donoghue, before O’Sullivan’s third point of the afternoon restored a two point advantage. O’Sullivan looked dangerous in the first half, but was subdued by a committed Galway defence after the break.

Two long deliveries up-field from Galway centre back Tony Og Regan resulted in superb scores from David Burke and Canning, before Coen’s sideline cut saw Hayes set off on a strong run and set up a neat point for Canning on 33 minutes.

It was tit-for-tat at this stage, with O’Farrell pulling one back for Cork, only for David Burke to land a brilliant score from the left corner after collecting a hand pass from Smith on the stroke of half-time.

Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s men, who went into this semi-final as 9/4 outsiders, refused to wilt and went into the dressing room on level terms after Horgan landed a free from half-way following a foul on full-back Stephen McDonnell.

All of the talk around Croke Park at this stage was about how much Cork had put it up to the new Leinster champions. But what a second half the men in maroon produced, despite conceding another free to Horgan within a minute of the restart, as Donoghue, Moore, Coen, Regan, and David Collins began to squeeze the life out of the Cork attackers, while Tannian and Smith took charge around midfield.

The Tribesmen scored the next three points – six of the next seven – and never relinquished control of the lead.

Conor Cooney, following a delivery from Regan, blazed a rare goal chance across the face of the Cork goals within a couple of minutes of the re-start.

Then Canning won and converted a free, Regan won Nash’s subsequent puck-out and set up a fine point for Hayes, and Canning registered a morale-boosting score following good work by Smith and David Burke.

A burst of three points in a row provided a huge boost in such a tight game, and Galway led by 0-14 to 0-12.

An over-hit pass from Canning saw young Cooney put the ball back into the danger zone, where it broke for Niall Burke to score an opportunist point and extended Galway’s advantage.

Midfielder Pa Cronin quickly set up Horgan’s only score from play at the other end, but the hard-working Niall Burke made up for his early misses with a mighty point from 60 metres.

The battling Galway players kept closing down the midfield sector at this stage and played with just two men, the Portumna duo of Canning and Hayes, up front at times as they showed great determination to grind out the win.

Another rare goal shot on goal from Niall Burke, who had a fine second half, saw Nash deflect the ball over the line and Canning converted the resultant ‘65’ to put four points between the sides in the 52nd minute.

Substitute Darren Sweetnam pulled one back, but then Hayes landed a fantastic point from half-way after picking up a puck-out from Galway goalkeeper James Skehill.

Cork had a goal chance when Cronin got his stick to a Nash free, only for the sliotar to zoom over the bar, on 56 minutes and looked to be still in with a strong shout when Naughton hit his superb score on the run barely a minute later.

At 0-18 to 0-16, it was still anyone’s game; but, crucially, the likes of Moore, Donoghue, and Coen were snuffing the life out of the Cork attacks. A ground stroke from Moore saw Regan take off on a strong run and register a morale boosting score with 59 minutes on the clock, just before the St Thomas’ attacker was called ashore to make way for Donnellan.

Nash fired over a free from his own half, but Coen lifted the spirits of every Galway person in the stadium when he emerged from a scramble and cleared the ball upfield after the backs crowded out a goal chance for Cronin.

Crucially, Galway landed the last three points of the game. Hayes set up a score for the unmarked Smith, Canning converted a free which he won himself 65 metres from the Cork goals, and Hayes closed out the victory by landing his fourth point two minutes into injury time.

Team captain Moore summed up the commitment in the Galway ranks with an inspirational late block to thwart a chance for O’Sullivan, but Galway had already guaranteed their place in next month’s final at that stage.

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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