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Thornton in top 15 in Great North Run

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Date Published: {J}

GALWAY City Harrier’s leading man Gary Thornton had another fantastic run in finishing 14th in the Great North Run in Newcastle in the UK last weekend. Thornton went out hard, breaking 5k in 14:30 and was right among the leaders breaking 10k in a time of 29:55. It was tough going in the end but he held on bravely for an outstanding finish time 65:24.

The race was won by Ethiopian legend and world marathon record holder Haile Gebresalaisse in a time of 59:33. This is a second brilliant run from Thornton in as many weeks – he came fifth in the Great Yorkshire 10k in 29:30, only 40 seconds behind the winner Craig Mottram of Australia.

Thornton is expected to take part in the inaugural Grey Lake 10k in Loughrea on Sunday. This is the first time that the historic race has moved beyond its traditional 5 mile distance, and it is hotly anticipated in Irish running circles.

Many elite athletes will be on show including Freya Murray, the hugely impressive winner of the 2010 Great Ireland Run, who won the event last year. All of the top Galway clubs will have strong teams on show, and everyone involved in the running scene in Galway will be present.

In other senior athletics news, Athenry AC’s Claire McNamara won the Northern Ireland Pentathlon with a combined score of 3807, well clear of her nearest rival Claire Wilkinson of Ballymena.

Several Galway athletes put in exceptional performances at the Connacht Secondary Schools Combined Events which took place last Friday in Athlone IT.

There was double glory in the Minor age category where Craughwell AC’s Damien O’Boyle (representing Calasanctius Oranmore) took the Connacht title in the boys’ event and Sinead Treacy (St Raphael’s Loughrea) took the title in the girls’ event with 1471 points.

Maria McNamara (Pres Athenry) posted an exceptional 2524 points to take the Connacht title in the Junior Girls category. This age group provided rich rewards also for Sinead Gaffney (Pres Athenry) who racked up 2396 points to claim the silver medal and for Ella Bryan (St Raphael’s Loughrea) who scored 2089 points to take the bronze medal.

Craughwell’s Ciara Greene (Bower Athlone) took the bronze medal in the Minor Girls event with 1261 points, with Ellen Treacy (Loughrea VS) taking 4th place with 1213 points and Conor O’Donoghue (Pres Athenry) in 4th place in the Minor Boys’ category.

Katie O’Donoghue of Craughwell AC (Pres Athenry) finished close to the medals in the Intermediate Girls category with a score of 2093 points, with Karen Roche (St Raphael’s Loughrea) and Melissa Mullins (Gort CS) also battling bravely in the same event and Diarmuid Prendergast (Loughrea VS) in the Junior Boys category.

Shaun Gallagher (St Raphael’s Loughrea) competed strongly in the Intermediate Boys category where Niall Rooney (Athenry VS) had an impressive performance and will be close to or in the medals in the same age group but at the time of writing, that result has not been announced.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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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Galway have lot to ponder in poor show

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

SLIGO 0-9

GALWAY 1-4

FRANK FARRAGHER IN ENNISCRONE

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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