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French calls on Mervue Utd side to build on weekend win



Date Published: {J}

Mervue United 4

Longford Town 3

Keith Kelly

Mervue United have a clean bill of health for tonight’s refixed Airtricity First Division clash with Cork City FORAS in Terryland Park (kick-off 7.45pm), with manager Tom French calling on his side to carry their form from the weekend into the game.

The city side held on for a crucial 4-3 win over Longford Town on Friday, a win that sees them close the gap on the Midlanders to seven points, while also moving six points ahead of city rivals Salthill Devon, who they face in Drom on Saturday.

French said it was important to stay in touch with Longford in the table, and admits that his side were hanging on in the end on Friday night, having seen a three goal lead whittled down to the minimum with just seven minutes remaining, but says that the character shown by his side in holding on for the win will stand to them for the rest of the season.

“To be honest, a little bit of panic probably did settle in when they pulled it back to 4-3, but we maybe got the rub of luck that we haven’t been getting all season, and the lads showed great character to hold on for the win.

“We haven’t been playing that badly this season, we just haven’t been getting the breaks and have struggled to put away our chances. We have been creating openings in front of goal but maybe need to show a bit more composure, but the fact we had four different scorers on Friday night tells you that we have goalscorers in the side.

“I don’t think we deserved to lose to Derry, we probably created more chances than them, but just didn’t get the little bit of luck you need. We have been saying for the last few weeks that this run of games was very important, and now we have beaten Longford, and while Saturday’s game is important, we are very much focussed on the Cork game,” he said.

Mervue took the lead against Longford Town in the eighth minute when Evan Connolly got on the end of Rory Gaffney’s through ball to lift his shot over the advancing Aaron Shanahan. Mervue were playing the better football on a very wet night, but the visitors got back on level terms just five minutes later, Victor Ekamem firing past Ger Hanley after the ‘keeper had parried Lee Roache’s initial effort.

However Mervue retook the lead on the half hour mark, Connolly turning provider as his cross picked out Dan Cunningham, who made no mistake from six yards, and the hosts extended their lead just before the break when Mike Tierney went on a mazy run before smashing the ball past Shanahan to send Merfvue 3-1 up at the break.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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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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