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Talented Galway kickboxer on the trail of World title fight



Date Published: 16-May-2013

 EUROPEAN kickboxing champion Gary Manogue has certainly been making a name for himself in the sport on the international scene but on Sunday, May 26, in the Clayton Hotel, Galway he will be hopeful that a successful defence of his continental belt will rubberstamp his shot at the World title later in the year.

There are not too many fighters this side of the world who are anxious to step into the ring with the Castle Park native but, in saying that, Manogue will take nothing for granted when he faces the No. 1 contender for his Super Welterweight belt, France’s David Blais, at the end of the month.

For one, he knows little about Blais, other than his credentials. Secondly, Manogue, himself, is sure to be emotionally charged on the night given he will be dedicating this fight to his late father James while his eight-year-old son of the same name will also take part in an exhibition at the same event.

Speaking to Manogue, family would seem to be at the core of his being. He talks excitedly about his son James while he also chats about the passing of his late dad earlier this year. “My father, James, he passed away in January, so I will dedicate this fight to him. He came every place with me. He would come around for the weekend, hop in the car, and we would just head off.”

While his father will not be present at the kickboxing showpiece, Manogue will still command a good following, including his mum Helen, aunt Teresa Shoer, partner Nicole King, a big crowd from Castle Park and his mates from Pete Foley’s Black Dragon Kickboxing Club.

Amazingly, the 31-year-old’s talents for the sport have only come to light in the last five years, having previously plied his sporting trade on the soccer fields of the city and county with East United, with which he still occasionally plays.

“I just popped down to the gym one day and I did the beginners (kickboxing) course and started off from there,” says Manogue. “That was about five years ago. I was 26, so I started late enough.

“He (instructor Foley) then roped me in and it was about eight months after I started that I had my first fight. The fight was 71kg. I stopped my opponent with a head-kick, knocked him out in the second round I think. He was from Waterford, Sean O’Neill.”

The buzz Manogue got from that contest, especially the knockout, was something he won’t forget but any thoughts of claiming titles were still far from his mind. “I just took it one fight at a time. I went back training and then another fight came up and it just took off from there.”

In March, 2010, he got his first big break when the opportunity came up to fight the British holder and former World amateur champion Gareth Porter for the IKF Super Welterweight 5 Nations Full Contact Kickboxing title – although Manogue had yet to claim the Irish belt.

To some extent, Manogue was viewed as fodder for Porter but a right hook from Manogue squarely on Porter’s jaw ended the fight in the second round. Consequently, when Manogue fought Kilkenny’s Kayne Nelson for the Irish title two months later in Leisureland, he was in prime condition to outpoint his opponent to maintain his perfect record of ten wins, six by knockout.

By the end of 2011, Manogue’ status had grown, although his first defence of his IKF 5 Nations crown against unbeaten Welshman Mike Sandford from Swansea in the Menlo Park Hotel was far from comfortable. The fight went the distance, right down to the wire, with Manogue finally receiving the unanimous decision.

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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