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Foster’s appeal to fans for United’s ‘Cup Final’



Date Published: 06-Nov-2009

Galway United manager Ian Foster has issued what he hopes will be a final appeal of the season to the people of Galway to get behind his side in big numbers in Terryland park tonight when they host Cork City in the last game of the 2009 League of Ireland season.

United are one point and two places away from the dreaded relegation play-off spots. A win tonight will see United safe no matter how Sligo Rovers or St Patrick’s Athletic fare in their games against Drogheda United and Shamrock Rovers respectively, but a draw or even defeat may see United safe, depending on results in the Showgrounds and Richmond Park.

“We’re not bothered about how Sligo or Pats get on to be honest, we are just focussing on winning our game against Cork, if we do that, we won’t need a favour from anyone else,” said a relaxed Foster yesterday ahead of what he describes as “our cup final this season”.

United go into the game buoyed by an excellent draw against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium last week, a game which saw one of team’s biggest away supports of the season, and the United manager is hoping for more of the same tonight.

“I would appeal to the people of Galway to show their support for the lads. We have a very young and inexperienced squad but they have worked very hard all season to get to a position where their destiny is in their own hands in the last game of the season, and they deserve great credit for that.

“For one reason or another, attendances have been down this season, but hopefully people will put that to one side as Friday night is massive for us, it is a one-off game, it’s our cup final, and a big crowd will make a huge difference to the lads.

“It would give the players a huge lift to come out for the kick-off and see two packed stands. We’ll be in Cork’s faces from the start, we’ll get close to their players and have a right go, and a big vocal backing would be a great lift,” he said.

Every one of the United players are out of contract when the season ends, be it tonight, next Tuesday (premier Division play-off) or the following Monday (relegation playoff with first Division side), and while Foster has yet to sit down with the players to discuss the future, he is hoping that tonight’s game will not be the last in a United jersey for any of them.

“The important thing is to see what division we are in next year, then I’ll sit down with the board, they’ll give me a budget and then I’ll meet the players. They all know the situation, but for now, the focus is on staying in the premier Division, Foster said.

he is without Garry Breen and Shane Guthrie tonight, both of whom are suspended, but Iarflaith Davoren has trained all week while there was also good news on the injury front for john Russell. There were fears the United captain would require further surgery on an ankle injury, but the surgeon confirmed this week his ankle ligament is intact, although he has a lot of bruising on the ankle bone. He has not trained in a number of weeks, but he will be in the squad tonight, partly because United are so short on numbers.

As for the visitors, full-back Danny Murphy misses out through suspension, although towering centre- back Dan Murray returns after missing last week’s 2-1 win over Dundalk. Joe Gamble returned to training this week and may feature at some point.

Cork are in need of a result tonight as well in order to secure European qualification next season – they are three points ahead of Derry City, who travel to Dundalk tonight, in the race for third, so a draw will do Paul Doolin’s side. A similar outcome might be enough for United.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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