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Galway United sent crashing out of League Cup by non-league opponents



Date Published: {J}

Galway United 1

Cockhill Celtic 3

Keith Kelly

Galway United suffered EA Sports Cup humiliation in Terryland Park last night when they were dumped out of this year’s competition at the First Round stage by non-league side Cockhill Celtic.

United came into the game on the back of a morale-boosting first league win of the season against Bohemians on Friday night, but it was hard to reconcile the side that took all three points from Dalymount Park with the one that rolled over so insipidly against the Ulster Senior League side last night.

After the final whistle, the Cockhill players and management gathered in front of the scoreboard for a souvenir photograph, as did the group of around 30 fans that made the 350-mile round trip from Buncrana for the game, and they deserved their moment of glory as they were the better team on the night.

That is a terrible indictment on the near full-strength United side which started the game, but also shows the lack of strength-in-depth at manager Sean Connor’s disposal. Goalkeeper Greg Fleming was named on the bench, while the Dublin-based trio of Brian Cash, Barry Ryan and Shaun Maher were all given the night off, and the absence of those four was sorely felt.

Connor will never admit it, but it is hard to argue with the idea that some of the United squad are just not up to the level required to play in the Premier Division. Given the low budget at his disposal, his hands are tied in that matter.

What he doesn’t need is a run of injuries to rob him of his more experienced players, but the signs that it wasn’t going to be United’s night came as early as the first minute when Gary Curran appeared to land awkwardly, and he limped off to be replaced by Neal Keane and is likely to be out for a number of weeks.

United shaded matters early on without every really testing the visitors, although Stephen Walsh came close in the eighth minute when getting on the end of Karl Moore’s corner, but his bullet header flew wide.

Visiting ‘keeper Stephen Conroy was up to the task when tested by Alan Murphy from 25 yards in the 20th minute, but he was beaten in the 36th minute when Joe Yoffe got on the end of Keane’s ball across the six yard box, the striker’s scuffed effort having enough on it to find its way to the net.

The goal should have settled United nerves and set up a passage into the Second Round, but their Donegal visitors had other ideas and were back on level terms within a minute. Shaun Kelly conceded a free-kick from the restart, Gerry Gill whipped the set-piece into the box, and William O’Connor headed towards Conor Winn’s right post where it was met by a flying header by Patrick McKinney for the equaliser.

Worse was to come for United before the break, and again it came from the aerial route. Mark Moran made space down the left before sending in a cross which Winn should have dealt with, but under little pressure he opted to punch the ball rather than catch it.

His fisted effort fell to Gill, who sent the ball straight back into the danger area, and once again McKinney was on hand to head home for a half-time lead.

United should still have had enough in the tank to claw their way back into the game in the second half, but the issue was put beyond doubt in the 50th minute after the combination of Gill and McKinney once again paid dividends.

Gill burned Shaun Kelly down the left and whipped in a cross, and despite United having three bodies in the box, it was McKinney who showed the greater hunger to power yet another header past Winn for his hat-trick.

United heads dropped as passes went astray, and the more worrying aspect for United fans was the lack of heart for battle in the players. Players were less than fully committed in the tackle, too many balls were given up as lost causes, and there was no real fight in the side once they fell two goals behind.

The fact that United’s first effort on target in the second half came seven minutes from time tells its own story, and the hope has to be that United will go out against Sligo Rovers in the Connacht derby in Terryland Park with a point to prove, when a win will soon see last night’s poor display soon forgotten.

Galway United: Winn; Shaun Kelly, Sinnott, Duffy (Gartlan h-t), Walsh; Moore, Sean Kelly, Curran (inj, Keane 6; Keogh 65), G Kelly; Yoffe, Murphy.

Cockhill Celtic: Conroy; K McLaughlin, O’Connor, McElroy, W McLaughlin; L O’Donnell, McDermott, Bradley, Gill; Moran (Doherty 73), McKinney (A O’Donnell 83).

Referee: Brendan Kelly (Offaly).


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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