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Chaos surrounds Salthill Devon’s play-off



Date Published: 10-Nov-2009

CONFUSION last night surrounded the scheduled League of Ireland play-off between Salthill Devon and Kildare Country in Drom tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) after the League of Ireland side yesterday posted a notice on its website saying the club had gone into liquidation.

The Galway side were due to face the First Division outfit in a two-leg play-off for the right to play in the First Division next season – as Mervue United successfully did last season – but the play-off was thrown into doubt during a chaotic weekend for the League of Ireland.

However, the chairman of Salthill Devon, Tony Johnstone, said yesterday that he had received an e-mail saying that as far as the FAI was concerned, the game was going ahead, and to plan for the game as normal.

“The official word we have is I have an email from the FAI saying the game is going ahead and to plan accordingly. We have to now work on the assumption that the game is going ahead, so we are planning for the game as normal.

“I am aware of all the rumours going around over the weekend, and of the notice on Kildare’s website, and there have been numerous phone-calls over the weekend about it, but we have been told the game is going ahead so we are planning for that,” he told Sentinel Sport yesterday.

While all the headlines over the weekend were grabbed by the expulsion of Premier Division side Derry City from the League, the apparent demise of Kildare County appeared to slip under the radar. They struggled to fulfil their final league fixture of the season at home to Shelbourne on Saturday night, with fans and volunteers having to step in and preside over the game after manager Joey Somerville and his backroom team resigned on Friday.

Kildare’s players only emerged for their warm-up routine 10 minutes before kick-off on Saturday, and only then after Stephen McGuinness, the chief of the players’ union the PFAI, was guaranteed a meeting with the FAI for yesterday to try and reach agreement that the €6,000 prize-money Kildare are due for finishing bottom could be paid to players who are reportedly owed a five figure sum in unpaid wages.

Kildare fans have been posting messages on various supporters’ forums on the Internet over the weekend lamenting the demise of the club and saying it had no future as a League of Ireland side – the team even had to borrow the kit of a local junior side for their game with Shelbourne on Saturday.

Director of Football with Salthill Devon, Pete Kelly, also said that as far as the Galway club was concerned, the game was going ahead.

“As far as we are concerned, the game is going ahead and we are expecting some kind of team from Kildare, and our players will train as normal tonight [Monday] for the game,” he said.

When asked if the club had discussed whether or not it would accept an invitation to join the League of Ireland if successful in the play-off, Kelly said such a meeting was not planned until Devon either won the play-off or, as suggested over the weekend, were given a walkover.

For much more see pages 31 & 32 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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