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Winner all right as Mulholland set to land football job



Date Published: {J}

Dara Bradley

Alan Mulholland now looks certain to become the first Galway native since Liam Sammon’s reign which ended in 2009 – and only the second Galway native in well over a decade – to manage the Galway senior football squad.

The Salthill bookmaker has a ‘free run’ to land the position, after the withdrawal of the three other contenders, including former Galway minor manager Gerry Fahy, who formally bowed out of the race on Monday night.

Mulholland is the only man, of the four who were nominated, to formally confirm to the Football Board his interest in the taking over the position – Sligo manager Kevin Walsh pulled out of the race after committing to the Yeats County; and Billy Joyce has also withdrawn his name.

Last week a selection committee was put together and includes, Football Board Chairman, John Joe Holleran, Football Board Secretary, Seamus O’Grady, former Galway senior football manager, Liam Sammon, and two delegates Gearóid Denver (Micheál Breathnach) and Gerry Hussey (Dunmore).

This committee was due to interview all the hopefuls for the job; and its members will still meet with Mulholland next Tuesday night even though he’s the only candidate remaining.

Mulholland, who led the U-21s to All-Ireland success this year and the Galway minors to All-Ireland success in 2007, will outline his backroom team and plans on how he hopes to replicate that success at senior level.

Dónal Ó Flatharta (An Spidéal), a selector with Mulholland at minor and U-21, and Tuam Stars trainer Alan Flynn, a selector/trainer with Mulholland this season, are expected to be among the backroom team.

The length of the tenure of fourth manager in as many years will also be negotiated.

This week, long-serving Galway star, Pádraic Joyce, said the new manager should be given three or four years at the helm to develop younger players. Joyce admitted Galway are “well down the pecking order in terms of winning All-Irelands” but that can change in a couple of years, not after six or 12 months, he said.

The Killererin man added that “whoever gets the job should have a bit of continuity” and should be afforded at least three years to develop and mould the county’s underage talent.

Delegates had been assured by the Board executive that following two unsuccessful one-year stints with ‘outsiders’ – Joe Kernan and Tomás Ó Flatharta – the county would shop local for the manager this year.

The interview committee will make a recommendation to delegates at the next board meeting. Meanwhile, the replay between Cortoon Shamrocks and Mountbellew/Moylough is scheduled for this Sunday at Tuam Stadium with a 4.15pm throw-in following stalemate last weekend.

The draw after extra time, the worst possible result for the ‘fixtures men’ has caused a fixtures nightmare for an already delayed senior club football championship.

It means the county semi-finals and final may have to be delayed further. The semi-finals are pencilled in for the first week in October; and the county final is due to take place on October 17, although this could now be pushed back.

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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