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Battling United restore modicum of pride with first point in 23 games



Date Published: {J}

Cian O’Connell

Galway United 2

Dundalk 2

Perhaps it was a sign of how far Galway United’s stock has fallen over the past couple of years, but the joy which greeted Friday’s draw with Dundalk was seen by the diehards who witnessed it as a rare slice of good news in a season of recurring nightmares.

True, Dundalk were the slicker team, but there was a purpose to this Galway display which meant that the irksome and confidence-sapping 23 game losing streak was finally terminated.

Other grim statistics like the fact that a point hadn’t been registered since April were also consigned to the history books and for those reasons alone the six hundred or so who continue to support the club through these most distressing times, left the banks of the Corrib with some hope that this crop of players can at least compete at this level for the remainder of the campaign.

It wasn’t exactly polished football from United, but there was honesty and the character provided from skipper Alan Murphy right through to the courage shown by Yob Son and Laurence Gaughan at the back augurs well.

In the middle of the park Gary Kelly, especially in the second half, demonstrated the required mixture of spirit and skill to suggest that the youngster can be encouraged to progress in a maroon shirt.

Murphy’s composure under pressure when guiding home an 84th minute penalty meant Galway escaped another defeat, and the division of the spoils was probably merited for the sheer desire of the performance.

Even when mistakes were made, there is no point in decorating the truth, because many basic and fundamental errors were committed the Galway players attempted to atone for them. Brave blocks and crucial interceptions were all made with Son and Gaughan always ready, willing, and able to respond following lapses in concentration that might have been punished by a more clinical side than Dundalk.


Son and Gaughan made so many interventions that their occasional naivety was forgiven. Eric Browne, shoved into an unfamiliar role in the centre of the park obliged by being as effective physically using his body throughout and allowing Kelly the freedom to wander seeking to influence the game.

That is exactly what Kelly did, particularly after the interval when Galway traded on parity with Dundalk. Even though Galway took the lead it was a different story in the first half because Dundalk ruled vast chunks despite being rocked in the tenth minute.

Eric Holland’s delivery had far more hope than expectation attached to it, but that didn’t seem to bother Jin Gu Kim, who took control of the ball inside the Dundalk area. Kim skipped away from Nathan Murphy before supplying a graceful finish which nudged Galway ahead.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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