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Glynn & Mervue part company



Date Published: 29-Jan-2010

MERVUE United and their now former manager Johnny Glynn have both insisted this week that their parting of the ways was entirely amicable and say that suggestions otherwise is purely idle speculation.

There have been noises around local soccer this week that Glynn’s decision to step down after two years in charge of the first team of Mervue United was down to a row over the availability of underage players for training with the first team, and while neither Glynn nor Mervue United spokesperson Declan McDonnell would be drawn on the matter, both said it was a “friendly” separation.

Mervue have moved quickly to fill the vacancy left by Glynn’s departure, with Tom French unveiled as the new manager on Wednesday. The appointment of French – who was assistant manager to Ian Foster at Galway United last season and was in the running for the United job, which went to Sean Connor – was widely expected, and McDonnell says the club is looking forward to working with French to continue its progress of recent years.

“I met Tom on Tuesday and we had a deal done in 15 minutes. I rang the board members and there was unanimous backing to offer the job to Tom, but it is important to note as well that there has been unanimous backing from the football committee to recognise the work Johnny (Glynn) did for the club.

“We will be sending him a letter thanking him, and Mark (Herrick, Glynn’s assistant for the last two years), for the work they have done with and for Mervue United, which tells you everything about the relationship between the club and Johnny,” McDonnell said yesterday.

Glynn was equally reticent about his reasons for stepping down, only saying that “it wasn’t a falling out and it wasn’t about me wanting to go to another club, and it is great to be able to leave on good terms, which is not something you can say very often in football”.

Glynn admitted to City Sport that although his decision to leave was not something that had been brewing over a period of time, he had made up his mind to leave on Monday morning. He said his reasons for going were known to the club, but were not something he was prepared to discuss publicly, and he wished the club well for the season ahead.

“The hardest part about leaving was the attachment I would have with the players, it is hard to walk away from it, they are a great bunch of players and a great bunch of lads. There is a huge amount of talent in the squad, and the lads have been working hard in preseason training and I wish them and Tom French, who is a great fella, well for the new season,” he said.

Speaking following his appointment, French said he was delighted to have been offered the job, saying it presented him with the chance to further develop a career that has seen him train underage sides, and work as both coach and assistant manager with Galway United.

“I moved to Galway 11 years ago and played a bit of football with Mervue, and also trained some of their underage sides, so it is nice to be going back to the club now as manager. I took a break from coaching to continue with my studies, and then got back into it by training Crumlin out in Turloughmore, where I live.

“Stephen Lally brought me in to be involved with the Galway United u-21s, and when Tony Cousins came in I was appointed coach. I left for a while, but Ian foster came in and brought me in as his assistant, and everyone knows I was interested in the United job when he left, but didn’t get it.

“I am very excited now about this opportunity with Mervue, we haven’t formally agreed a length of contract or anything but I’ll be here for a year anyway and all of us will sit and down and look at the situation at the end of the season,” he said.


For more see page 52 of this week’s City Tribune

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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