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Devon, Mervue qualify for U-20 League quarter-finals

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Date Published: {J}

Mike Rafferty

It was a good weekend for Mervue United and Salthill Devon in the Airtricity U20 League as they completed their group campaign with impressive wins and as result finish first and second in Section Four and have thus qualified for the quarter finals the weekend after next.

Both required victory in order to progress, and with various degrees of comfort advanced with wins over Galway United and Limerick FC.

 

Mervue United 3

Galway United 0

The home side set up this win with two opening half goals, but the crucial score was Brian Connolly’s close range finish just four minutes after the restart and thereafter Mervue were in cruise control as the comfortable success left them table toppers in a very competitive group with saw just five points separate the top four teams.

The stakes were high at the kickoff as a win for either side would see them advance, and with the visitors including at least seven former Mervue players in their line-up, there was certainly an amount of familiarity about proceedings.

However it was clear from the start that a well groomed home side were at a level above the visitors as years of playing together brought a cohesion and cutting edge that was lacking in Ski McGee’s charges.

Indeed a lot of his side were playing for the second time in 24 hours as up to seven had lined out the previous day in an A championship game against St Patrick’s Athletic. This certainly would not have helped their cause, but they started brightly and just the woodwork denied Pat Shaughnessy after just two minutes. Later an Emmett Shaw free kick was comfortably gathered by Conor Gleeson.

Mervue seldom looked a threat in the early exchanges, but a quick brace in a three minute spell was to quickly turn matters in their favour. The opener on 22 minutes came courtesy of a splendid Enda Curran finish. Gathering possession outside the area, he smartly sidestepped his marker before turning and firing a low effort beyond the reach of Conor Winn for a 1-0 advantage.

Moments later the striker floated in a free kick to the far post and central defender Mike Elwood applied the downward header that made it 2-0.

The long throws of Ger Cheevers was one of the few attacking options in their armoury, but a dominant Mervue back four seldom looked troubled despite the inclusion of Stephen Walsh in the United attack.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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

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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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