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Galway Utd bow out of FAI Cup with a whimper



Date Published: {J}

Dundalk 4

Galway United 1

Keith Kelly

A heavy defeat, a couple of injuries and a red card – not the most productive day for Galway United in Oriel Park on Sunday as they were dumped out of the FAI Cup at the first hurdle by a superior Dundalk side missing a number of players and who never got out of third gear.

On the one hand it is good not to have the distraction of the Cup, allowing Sean Connor and his side to concentrate on the more important matter of maintaining the club’s Premier Division status, yet it is disappointing that United’s campaign has ended at such an early stage in the 20th anniversary year of their one and only success in the competition.

Dundalk’s victory completed a 2-0 win for Louth clubs over Galway sides in the FAI Cup, after Drogheda United’s 4-0 hammering of Mervue United on Friday night, and with Salthill Devon surprisingly being dumped out by Sheriff YC on the same night, it means Galway’s interest in this year’s Cup lasted less than 48 hours.

“It is a bad weekend for football in Galway, and you have to look now with all three Galway teams being out of the Cup, maybe it is about time we asked the question if there are good enough players to warrant three teams in the League, and I think the answer is ‘no’,” was United manager Sean Connor’s frank assessment after the game on Sunday.

The United manager was in no mood to pull punches on Sunday, admitting his side put in a “poor performance” and deserved to lose, and he will have a job on his hands to lift spirits ahead of Friday’s League game with Bray Wanderers.

As it stands, United’s worst ever run of defeats came in the 1995/96 season when they lost 11 straight League games on the bounce, as well as losing in the FAI Cup during that run to Waterford United. Their

current run is 10 straight League defeats, and Sunday’s loss in the Cup, so the side are 90 minutes away from equalling a record no-one would welcome.

United weathered some early pressure on a wet and miserable afternoon on Sunday before hitting the front on 13 minutes through Alan Murphy, but the home side struck twice to take a half-time lead, and then wrapped up the tie with two goals in three minutes late on to put a somewhat undeserved gloss on the scoreline.

The tales of woe for United don’t start and end with the scoreline, however, as the two starting Kellys suffered different fates that rules both out of this Friday’s League clash with Bray Wanderers. Midfielder Sean Kelly was stretchered off after the fourth Dundalk goal with a splint around his right leg, while full-back Shaun Kelly joined him earlier than planned in the dressing room after been booked twice in the last 10 minutes for fouls on Mark Quigley.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentiinel.

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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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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