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Devon play all the football but come up short



Date Published: {J}

Salthill Devon 0

Athlone Town 1

Keith Kelly

SALTHILL Devon’s introduction to life in the Airtricity League didn’t have the fairytale start the club had hoped for, but that was the one disappointment on a night when the home side played all the football with a performance that showed they deserve their place at the top level.

Despite the best efforts of the management team of Emlyn Long, Mike Quirke and Sean Buckley, Devon displayed some nerves early on and at times you feared a physically bigger and stronger Athlone Town side would steamroll the debutantes. However, once Devon got their passing game going, they started to dominate and in the end there was only one team in it – even if they couldn’t find a way to unlock the visitors’ defence.

Daryl Horgan tormented Eoin O’Shea all night down the right, while Robbie Porter and Luke McConnell edged the battle in the centre of midfield. Brian Geraghty was a tower of strength at the back, as was James Whelan, whose Rory Delap-style throw-ins caused havoc in the Athlone box at times.

Unfortunately for the home side, it was always an Athlone player to whom the ball broke in those scrambles, and perhaps when they look at the video of the game, Long and Quirke will see the merit in having a player on the edge of the box to get on those loose balls.

Devon had the first shot in anger, Sean Murphy – just back from his exploits with NUI Galway in their march to the Collingwood Cup final during the week – firing in a 30 yard free which swerved viciously in the air, but Athlone ‘keeper Chris Bennion is a season campaigner and he gathered with minimum fuss.

Bennion was to the fore again two minutes later when Porter’s measured ball put Sean Boyle clear on goal, but Bennion got down well to deny him, though Boyle will be disappointed with his finish.

Athlone rode that early storm, and took the lead in the tenth minute with their first attack. Richie O’Hanlon, Athlone’s best player on the night, made ground down the right before whipping in an inviting cross.

Austin Skelly miscontrolled the ball, but that resulted in wrongfooting the Devon defence, and Skelly dug the ball from under his feet and fired home from inside the box, giving Ronan Forde no chance in the Devon goal.

Devon wobbled briefly, and O’Hanlon was a constant danger down the wing, firing across goal and wide from the edge of the box in the 22nd minute, and sending a clever chip just wide of the post a minute later.

Athlone should have added a second ten minutes before the break when Kevin Williamson’s deep cross was headed back into the danger area by Robbie Farrell, but Brian McCarthy sliced his shot into the air and Forde gathered comfortably.

Devon were lacking a bit of composure, and they needed someone to put a foot on the ball rather than through it, but they soon settled and almost drew level four minutes before the break, Mickey Gilmore’s looping header beating Bennion, but landing on the roof of the net, and McConnell scuffed a 20 yard shot wide of the post with Bennion rooted to the spot.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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