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Galway Utd passed off the park as Showgrounds bogey strikes again



Date Published: {J}

Sligo Rovers 3

Galway United 0

Keith Kelly

AS the debate about the morality or otherwise of corporal punishment prompts plenty of debate around the water coolers of Ireland, Sligo Rovers left no one in any doubt about their attitude on the matter after handing Galway United a right spanking in the Showgrounds on Friday night.

Sean Connor’s side had travelled to the home of their provincial rivals looking for a first league win at the ground in 14 years, but they did so without the suspended Stephen O’Donnell, and the city native was sorely missed as Sligo completely dominated midfield, even when they were reduced to 10 men just five minutes into the second half.

Connor urged his players in the dressing room before the game to channel their “frustration and disappointment” from last Monday’s draw with Bray Wanderers into Friday night’s game, but they failed to rise to that challenge, and with everything going on at the club, there is a chance we are witnessing not only the disintegration of the squad, but also of the club itself.

It may sound alarmist, but there are worrying noises surrounding the club. Gates have been poor, and even a reduced admission price and an appeal to the public for support at last Monday’s game with Bray Wanderers failed to really make an impact – a crowd of 1,215 was announced, which is the same as 810 people paying in at the usual ticket price of €15.

United were a goal down on Friday night when Connor withdrew striker Anto Flood in the 40th minute, replacing him with Thomas Heary, who normally plays centre back. Hardly a move to get you back into the game, and while Connor was coy about discussing the change after the game, you get the feeling Flood may have played his last game for United, whether or not his touted move to St Mirren in Scotland comes to pass.

“When we play any team, particularly away from home, we need 11 players on the park,” Connor cryptically said after the game. When asked was this in reference to the performance of Flood, he said “I don’t want to get into it” before expanding on the point when pressed.

“He didn’t do what he was asked to do. He was given a particular role he was asked to do, he wasn’t doing it, and you can only put up with that for so long,” Connor said. The United manager went on to say he felt Richie Ryan was running the game from midfield and he needed someone to ‘sit’ on him, which is why he brought in Heary.

Surely there is an argument that one of Gary Curran or Ciaran Foley could have been ordered to do that job, and leave two strikers on the pitch as United were already behind. Flood went straight to the dressing room when substituted, and later claimed he felt a twinge in his hamstring, but there appears to be more to the situation than either explanation offered.

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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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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