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Archive News

Rooney and McCambridge tops in ‘Streets’



Date Published: 16-Aug-2012

 OVER 2,500 competitors took to the streets for the 27th Corrib Oil Streets of Galway 8k Road Race last Saturday. This event is the jewel in the crown of Galway City sporting events staged on a course that runs through the heart of the city and along the promenade, finishing at the scenic Claddagh.

Since its inception in 1986 with little over 300 runners, the ‘Streets’ event has grown from strength to strength and now attracts people from far and wide and everyone from the elite athlete to recreational joggers, walkers and those raising funds for worthy charities.

The ethos from the start has always been “sport for all”. For many, this is a very special event with a real sense of occasion as the streets are thronged with runners and walkers alike and the atmosphere is electric. This year’s race saw a competitive field with young David Rooney (Raheny Shamrocks AC ) reclaiming his title in a time of 24:01, having won in 2010 as a 22-year old in a time of 23:57. In the women’s race Maria McCambridge (Letterkenny AC) won in a time of 26:36.

Local runners did very well also, with Galway City Harriers winning both the men and women’s team events. Lots of local clubs were represented also, including Craughwell, Athenry, Galway AC. Maree AC and Galway Triathlon Club, to say nothing of the clubs from all over the country that took part.

Many participants took part in the Streets with the aim of raising much-needed funds for worthy charities. One charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) had over 250 competitors take to the streets. Galway couple Regina and Tom Power were the driving force behind this group entry, having lost two children tragically.

Their son Colm, living in Australia, organised a parallel 8k race to take place in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time.

Croi charity also had a large group of runners participate this year and have been regular contributors to the Streets of Galway for several years.

Another notable group were the On the Road Again(OTRA) group of ten athletes, organised by GCH’s Paul Fallon. OTRA is a non-profit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations and people suffering mental health issues by engaging them in walking and running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.

To date, marvellous effects have been seen with this group medically, physically and emotionally and they are becoming well-known and popular on the ‘road-race circuit’.

Patrick Larkin, Ger Meehan and Patrick Murphy are the only three competitors to have run every streets race and they were there in style again last Saturday.

Other groups of interest include a large family entry from the Kenny family of ‘Kenny’s Bookshops, Art Gallery and Book Bindery’, a well-established family business in Galway for over 70 years. Three generations and approximately 20 family members took to the streets this year including Des Kenny and his daughter Aisling, both of whom completed the Dublin City Marathon for the past two years.

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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