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Geraghty’s goal sees SD Galway do the double

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 14-Aug-2012

 It was a dogfight and it wasn’t pretty but SD Galway once again got one over on their old rivals Mervue United at Deacy Park on Friday night.

Coming into the game with just one win all season (a 2-1 victory at Fahy’s Field), Tony Mannion’s men were hoping to give their neighbours another sucker punch and they applied just that, despite finishing the game with 10 men.

Goals in either half from Brian Gaffney and Brian Geraghty were just enough to edge it, as Nicky Curran became the latest on a long list of those who have been sent off in this fixture.

It began only as it could have, with both sides fighting valiantly to gain a foothold and force a precious lead. The hosts were draped in their change white strip and it was the visitors who wore maroon.

Mannion’s new signing Jakob Tomanica was the first to test Conor Gleeson with a stern drive but it failed to trouble the impressive youngster who has snatched the ‘keeper’s jersey off Ronan Forde.

Three minutes later the hosts attacked the Dyke Road end again and Ronan Conlon crossed towards Tomanica, but Noel Varley slid in to crucially intercept.

Midway through the half, a Conlon corner was flicked on by Geraghty to full-back Eugene Greaney who saw his drive sail inches over the bar. At this stage Mervue had found rhythm, illustrated by Marc Ludden’s long throw to Tom King, and as he raced up the right flank, his cross was too soon for the oncoming Stephen Walsh.

As the battle continued, SD Galway found the breakthrough two minutes before the interval. After launching a swift counter-attack, Mervue’s defence frantically scrambled to get back when Tomanica played Gaffney in – and the winger drove low through Gleeson’s legs at the near post.

The second half started in the same scrappy nature as the first, until 10 minutes in when United drew level. The ball was teed up for Gary Kelly 30 yards from goal and his belter was superbly palmed over by James Keane.

From the resulting corner whipped in by Jason Molloy, Varley flicked on to veteran centre-half Damien O’Rourke, who produced the most poetic of back-heels to square the contest.

In a mark of intent to go on and win the game, Johnny Glynn introduced Dan Cunningham – who recently returned to Fahy’s Field from Dundalk – and Cian McBrien, who had his fair share of League of Ireland experience at Galway United.

But within five minutes of the tactical double-change SD Galway hit the front again when Harty played Geraghty in, and he showed great composure under pressure to poke the ball into the top corner to Gleeson’s left.

Within a minute however the celebrations of the home support were tarnished when Nicky Curran got a second yellow against his old club for leaning in late on Varley. The game wasn’t nasty with five yellows overall, but this gave United a huge incentive.

Walsh was pushed up to aid Pat Hoban and Molloy, and almost won a penalty when he was tumbled in the box by Harty but the cries were waved away by Wexford referee Sean Grant.

Five minutes later Molloy finally found the space that eluded him all evening on the left side and he fed Hoban. The Loughrea youngster’s shot was deflected as far as Walsh at the back post who flung himself at it but it bounced awkwardly and wide.

The pressure continued but SD showed excellent composed defending to keep Mervue at bay. With four minutes left, Molloy whipped in a free-kick from the left which was headed goalwards by Cunningham, but an approaching Hoban failed to get a touch and again Mervue had to watch the ball bounce wide.

Mervue’s pressure became constant in the final minutes but late drama which occurs so often in this fixture was averted. As a result the gap has narrowed to four points between the teams at the foot of the first division table, with one more showdown to come at Fahy’s Field.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



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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Rory takes on fresh challenge as lauded DruidMurphy returns

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 03-Apr-2013


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After twenty years Sarah lands dream role in Druid

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 04-Apr-2013

 Sarah Lynch has been living and breathing Druid Theatre since she wangled a job as a runner fresh out of college two decades ago at age 20. After holding down just about every role imaginable there – from company manager to director to stage manager – her appointment as general manager to one of the country’s most prestigious theatre companies last October seemed almost inevitable.

Because once she had tasted the fruit of Druid she was going nowhere . . . and going everywhere. Sarah’s tenure at Druid since 1998 has brought her on a journey that has reached just about every corner of the globe and almost all the islands off Ireland in between.

After graduating from Limerick with a degree in French and English Sarah spent a stint teaching in a secondary school. But it immediately became clear that wasn’t the road for her.

“One thing I was always certain of was I’d be involved in the performing arts, whether on stage or off stage or behind it. The immediate reaction of the audience is such a buzz,” she grins.

Her earliest memory was of her grandfather, Bud Clancy, on stage with his trumpet and dance band. “I must have been three or four because he died shortly after that. But it never left me. I got bitten by the bug. I started playing the trumpet. A friend of my grandfather taught me how to play and I was with the Limerick brass and reed orchestra known as the Boherbuoy Band, I was just a kid with all these adults.”

She learned to play other brass instruments such as the French horn and cornet before turning her hand to the guitar and song-writing. “I taught myself guitar. Sometime I tinker on the piano and I think that’s my next instrument. I love percussion. You can’t get me off a drum kit for love or money. Many is the night I’ve made a fool of myself on one of those,” she laughs.

In 2010, Sarah released her debut album, Letter to Friends, which was launched by playwright Enda Walsh, whose short play, Lynndie’s Gotta Gun, she had directed as part of the 2008 Galway Arts Festival.

The collection of songs was produced by Wayne Sheehy, a musician she had met when opening for Juliet Turner on Turner’s Burn the Black Suit tour.

“I could probably have done it ten years ago but for the manic schedule with Druid and touring so much,” she reflects. “I haven’t done much with it since. I used to play gigs in the Róisín Dubh. The bigger twin is theatre at the moment. The bigger twin bullies the other twin. You don’t get much time to do music.”

After fleeing the classroom, Sarah knocked on the door of a former college mate, Andrew Flynn, now with the Galway Youth Theatre, who kindly offered up his couch. He also managed to get her a job as a runner – the person who does everything from making tea to helping with props – on a Druid production of As You Like It.

“I remember working with Mark O’Halloran, I had great fun with him. There was Helen Norton, it was Maeliosa Stafford directing. He’s coming back to the Druid after ten years to star in Tom Murphy’s A Whistle in the Dark. He left me as a runner, now I’m general manager.”

Much of Sarah’s time behind the scenes at Druid has been spent on the road. In 2009 alone, Druid toured to Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA presenting 364 performances in 26 venues.

Indeed so much of life has been out spent living of a suitcase that she gave up her base in Galway to move back in with her family in Caherdavin, on the Galway side of Limerick city.

The tour of the Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh was so long the crew were instructed to pack two suitcases, one with summer clothes, the other winter gear, as they would be spanning the seasons. Her job now entails a lot of commuting, but driving is where she gets a lot of thinking done.

Sarah’s decision to apply for the more home-based job of general manager was one she made discreetly while on the Druid Murphy tour around the US. She had to undergo her interview in between shows at the Lincoln Center in New York. It was the most nerve wrecking experience of her life, she admits.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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