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Derby clash brings together two clubs in different places



Date Published: {J}

Keith Kelly

GALWAY United travel to the north-west tomorrow night to take on provincial rivals Sligo Rovers (kick-off 7.45pm) in what is the final Connacht derby of the season. And possibly the last one for a number of years.

Just 90 miles separates Terryland Park from the Showgrounds, but it will be a case of two different worlds colliding tomorrow night: the league leaders against the basement club, with 55 points separating the sides in the league table; the meanest defence against the most woeful attacking force; a side that has found the net 54 times this season against one that has conceded 92 goals in 31 games, and has kept just two clean sheets in 33 League and Cup games.

All the pointers are for a Sligo victory, and few will bet against Paul Cook’s side taking another step towards the club’s first League title since the 1976/77 season, the year before United even entered the league.

United’s aspirations are much more simple – try and build some confidence ahead of the relegation play-off in November, and avoid the humiliation suffered in Terryland Park back in July in the last meeting between the sides, when the visitors thrashed United 8-0, the club’s heaviest-ever defeat in their 35 seasons in the League.

However there is a new broom sweeping through United these days, and while Jumbo Brennan has had only two games in charge, there a already a stark difference to the side’s style of play under his tenure than was the case not only under Sean Connor, but the likes of Ian Foster and Tony Cousins as well – one of ‘hoof and hope’.

While United were outplayed by Bohemians last Friday night, the players at least tried to keep the ball on the deck, playing the ball out from the back and string a few passes together, rather than kicking away possession every time a bit of pressure came on.

“It’s all about keeping possession. Keep possession and you make the other team work hard, if you keep kicking the ball away, you give them possession and get knackered trying to chase after the ball, so make the other team work,” Brennan said after the game.

It is United’s work ethic that will come under scrutiny in the home of the league leaders, and Brennan has to shuffle his pack from last weekend as Stephen Walsh is suspended, while Yob Son also misses out after picking up a dead leg in training on Tuesday night.

Son’s absence is likely to see Eric Browne coming into the starting XI in a straight-forward swap, while Bobby Ryan could move to the wing to replace Walsh, with Sean Kelly returning to the side for his first start since June.

Kelly came through 20 minutes last Friday in his first game back since picking up what was described at the time as a season-ending cruciate injury against Dundalk back in June, and his physical presence will be needed in midfield.

Mikey Gilmore was a threatening presence when introduced for the last 30 minutes last week, while Jingu Kim is also back in contention after a hamstring injury, giving Brennan some options for the game.

It is not just United who have been affected by suspension and injuries, and the impact of Sligo is arguably more serious as the spine of their team has been severely hit with central defender Jason McGuinness and the league’s second-highest scorer, striker Eoin Doyle, both ruled out through injury; while captain and midfield powerhouse Richie Ryan is suspended.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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