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Archive News

Stakes are high in last round of group matches



Date Published: 11-Jul-2012


AFTER Galway’s superb – even sublime – victory over Kilkenny in the Leinster final last Sunday, it’s back to the brass tacks of the local senior hurling and intermediate championships this weekend.


Aside from Group D – in which Loughrea and St. Thomas have already qualified for the quarter-finals – there is plenty to play for in the other three groups, no more so than in Group C where, remarkably, all four teams can still make the knockout stages.


Turloughmore and Sarsfields lead the way with three points each in that group but chasing close on their heels are their respective opponents this Sunday, namely Beagh and Mullagh. Indeed, it’s possible all four teams could finish on the same number of points, leaving the pecking order to be sorted out on scoring difference.

In Group A, county champions Gort top the group but still need to account for Tommie Larkins to cement their place. That said, even if Larkins do cause an upset this weekend, Gort’s scoring difference of +42 should be enough to qualify them for the final eight.

That leaves Larkins and Padraig Pearses vying for the other spot, with an expected Pearses victory over lowly Moycullen to book their berth in the quarter-finals.

A similar situation arises in Group B where Portumna have already qualified for September’s fare, leaving Castlegar and Craughwell – who meet on Sunday evening – fighting it out for the remaining quarter-final place.

In the intermediate championship, matters are just as tight although the leading lights should begin to emerge following the final series of grouop games on Saturday evening (See fixtures).


Gort v Tommie Larkins

(Loughrea, 7pm)

Gort look set to be without four first choice regulars for this game. Defenders Mark McMahon (knee) and Brian Regan (ankle) are both missing through injury while the versatile Sylvie Óg Linnane and corner forward Gerard O’Donoghue are unavailable. It means the management will have to dip into their intermediate team for some of their reinforcements.

Tommie Larkins were ambushed by Padraig Pearses in the last round and, consequently, must win this game – and hope Moycullen do them a favour – to be in with any shout of progressing. Noel Murphy has no injury worries and he will hope Jason Flynn can continue his rich vein of form and find the net in this one. Verdict: Gort.

Padraig Pearses v Moycullen

(Kenny Park, Athenry 7pm)

Tommie Larkins won’t want to hear this, but according to Moycullen manager Fergal Clancy, they “are down to the bare bones for this one”. Already without several first choice players, including corner back Richie Deavney, who is getting married on Saturday, Moycullen lost midfielder Pat Lydon to a broken collarbone earlier this week. The promising Eanna Malone (holidays) is also unavailable for this clash.

As for Pearses – who still have Colm Raftery on the long-term injury list – they can boast of a clean bill of health. Manager John Raftery is expecting a backlash of sorts from Moycullen after the drubbing the Ghaeltacht men received at the hands of Gort but given the form Pearses are in – and, in particular, Cyril Donnellan – the Ballymacward/Gurteen outfit should have enough to progress. Verdict: Pearses.

For more, read 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

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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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