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Birmingham swoop for O’Shea as United secure derby win



Date Published: 04-Aug-2009

THE Board of Galway United was this weekend mulling over a late offer of a transfer deal for U21 Republic of Ireland International Jay O’Shea to England – a deal is almost certain to be struck in the coming days.

Hours before United’s Connacht Derby tie with Sligo Rovers at Terryland Park on Friday, English Premier League side Birmingham City FC made an 11th hour effort to sign the Dubliner but, as of yesterday, O’Shea was still a United player, although manager Ian Foster admitted to Sentinel Sport that his 90th minute winner against Bray Wanderers last week was more than likely his last act in a maroon jersey.

It is understood Birmingham put in a bid for O’Shea on Friday, although it is not thought big enough to meet United’s valuation of the former club captain. It is also understood O’Shea was not allowed to become involved in direct negotiations with the English club over the weekend because the amount offered did not meet United’s asking price.

O’Shea was available to start in United’s weekend 1-0 win over Sligo, but Foster decided against it.


WHAT’S rare is wonderful. Galway United manager Ian Foster lapped-up a standing ovation from an uncharacteristically excited crowd of home supporters in the stand at Terryland Park on Friday night as his charges – reduced to 10-men for the bulk of the second-half – put on an heroic display to hold out for a valuable three points in the Connacht derby.

In fairness, such is the esteem Foster is held in by United supporters, the manager was even applauded for just taking his place in the dugout at the start of the match and again on the resumption of the second-half but the commotion at the full-time whistle was a spontaneous combustion of collective appreciation of his players’ battling win.

When was the last time (the normally fairly subdued) onlookers in the stand burst into repetitive chants of “United” United!”, so loud that they drowned out the regular ‘hardcore’ group of supporters on the far side? Yes, there was something special about the atmosphere at Terryland on Friday.

United were worthy of all the praise, and while they could easily have leaked a goal or two, they were on balance by far the better team throughout. Having come from behind to win their last two away matches against Bray Wanderers and St. Patrick’s Athletic, Foster was looking for similar backbone and courage from his squad and by god did he get it.

Not only…

Full match report on page 22 of this week’s 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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Archive News

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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