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Pressure on hurlers to restore pride in Waterford



Date Published: {J}


A plethora of Galway’s first choice players could make their return from injury for the Tribesmen’s pivotal National Hurling League clash against Waterford at Walsh Park in on Sunday (2:30pm).

After their 4-23 to 1-14 demolition at the hands of All-Ireland champions Tipperary last day out, John McIntyre’s outfit travel to Waterford knowing only a victory will keep their hopes of retaining the National League title alive.

A signal of Galway’s intent is the likely return of Kinvara’s Shane Kavanagh, Sarsfields’ Kevin Hynes and Portumna duo Joe Canning and Damien Hayes to the fold for this one. Although the quartet has been struggling with long term injuries, they have all played with their clubs in recent weeks.

Consequently, all four are back in contention for starting places, while Aidan Harte – a used substitute against Tipp – is now up and running after his long lay-off. Furthermore, Liam Mellows duo David Collins (shin) and Aonghus Callanan – a late withdrawal before the Tipperary game due to tonsillitis – are also available for selection. They, too, will push for inclusion this weekend.

However, despite the return of these influential players, McIntyre must plan without midfielder Ger Farragher, Andy Smith – who broke his nose against Tipperary – and long term injury-victim Fergal Moore, who had scar tissue removed from his ankle last week.

In any event, Galway’s performance this Sunday must improve dramatically on their previous outing if the healing process of their 18-point defeat to Tipperary is to begin. “It was a shocking performance; we were just wiped out by Tipperary. No excuses,” concedes McIntyre.

“It was an eye opener for everyone, for the team management and the players. On the day, Tipp were definitely in a different league to us. Obviously, when you are beaten by 18 points – regardless of how good the opposition were on the day – everyone associated with the team is rattled.

“I suppose, thankfully, this has happened early enough for us in the season to address the problems that were there in Pearse Stadium. We need to heed the lessons from that Tipperary game. It was a wake-up call for everybody.”

With this in mind, changes in personnel – along with a change in attitude and application – are anticipated this Sunday. “We now face Waterford and that game is akin to a league semi-final,” continues McIntyre. “I am expecting that the Galway players will be very determined to restore some pride at Walsh Park.”

That said, Galway still have a great deal of work to do if they are to cement their place in the National League decider. Indeed, it’s very tight at the top of Division 1 with leaders Kilkenny expected to account for Offaly in Nowlan Park to go through to the decider, leaving Galway, Dublin and Tipperary vying for the remaining berth.

Waterford also have an outside chance of qualifying, but they will need to beat Galway and hope basement side Wexford can upset Tipperary in Thurles which, on the evidence of previous Wexford displays, is very unlikely.

In any event, Galway’s destiny is very much in their own hands and, given the hurt of their recent mauling to Tipp, you would expect that there has to be a kick in the Tribesmen when they line out against the Déise.

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

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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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