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Honours even as city rivals play out Drom stalemate

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 07-May-2013

 IT finished a stalemate but either side could have nicked it. Nothing could separate Salthill Devon and Mervue United in the latest chapter of League of Ireland action between these two old city foes at a drenched Drom on Friday night.

Both teams had chances with Mervue creating more as Devon keeper James Keane made some brilliant saves to deny Gary Curran, Noel Varley, Jason Molloy, Ryan Manning and Stephen Walsh.

At the death, skipper Derek O’Brien could have snatched it for the hosts only to be denied by Conor Gleeson, who was called into the fray late in the first-half after Brian O’Donoghue was withdrawn with concussion.

The game began cautiously as Devon were forced to make a late change in defence, with Willie Enubele coming in for Robbie Gaul at centre-half. Devon showed the early incentive with O’Brien whipping in an early corner which O’Donoghue had to punch clear.

Ryan Manning was to fire Mervue’s first meaningful goal effort from a nice distance in the seventh minute which sailed a short distance wide of the mark.

Salthill tried to etch out another break two minutes after Manning’s effort when Brian Gaffney raced forward, but he took a heavy touch and Paul Sinnott intercepted to clear and avert the danger.

O’Brien again whipped in a fine cross from a corner in the 15th minute which was fisted into the path of Cian Fadden, but he blazed over when he really should have tested O’Donoghue.

Five minutes later Johnny Glynn thought his men had taken the lead when Marc Ludden – who was moved forward to left midfield – somehow had a shot headed off the line by Colm Horgan with James Keane was beaten.

A minute later, Mervue won a free-kick within range which Manning curled goalwards, but Keane produced a fine save, and the visitors looked to move up a gear.

Shortly after the half-hour mark Jason Molloy played a fine ball to Tom King, who cut inside to feed Manning who fell to the turf when Jamie McGlynn challenged him, but penalty claims fell on deaf ears. A minute later Mervue drove forward again, this time Molloy linking up with Gary Curran and King finished the move but failed to find the target.

With 10minutes to go before the break, Gary Curran found himself in space and Keane denied him with another fine stop when Mervue should have gone ahead.

Mervue were then forced to make a change between the sticks when Enda Curran and O’Donoghue clashed heavily, and the latter had to be substituted with concussion.

A minute before the break, Horgan made his second goalline clearance of the evening when King picked out Stephen Walsh, and the right-back blocked with his legs to once again frustrate Mervue.

Mervue launched another attack seven minutes after the break as Molloy played in King, but his ball was too heavy for Noel Varley and Keane gathered comfortably.

Varley played in King two minutes later and with only Keane to beat, he toe-poked it straight at him and the Devon keeper stopped it with his legs.

The hour-mark passed and the rain got even heavier as Molloy in a more forward role looked-up to find Manning, whose runs often created space, but the target evaded him and the ball flashed over.

At this point Devon began improving, with O’Brien again the main threat on the right side and proving hugely influential in their attacking prowess. His fellow winger Brian Gaffney had a go from distance which went well over.

On 66 minutes O’Brien embarked on his first major solo run and shot wide. Moments later he went at it again in an almost identical move, but this time his shot was on target but deflected clear by Walsh.

Mervue weren’t finished however and Sinnott was the latest in a maroon short to venture forward and had a go from distance but again could not keep it down and it hit the walls of the Drom clubhouse.

As the final third began, Mervue spurned another golden chance as they worked it up the pitch once more and Molloy played a perfect ball through to King, and with just Keane to beat again he shot straight at him. The game then developed an inevitable scrappiness as the rain made the pitch heavy impossible for snappy passing and movement.

With two minutes to go, Varley who performed well in the middle along with Gary Curran passed to Molloy and this time Fadden was the Devon player to block his shot.

Marc Ludden and Derek O’Brien were having an intriguing battle on the wing for most of the second-half and it was the former Galway United man in his 13th League of Ireland season who almost had the last laugh.

The Kerryman found space, sprinted in and struck it with real venom, but Gleeson produced another fantastic save.

Devon have yet to find their first win, but they can happy with a hard-earned point here with their goalkeeper largely to thank. In the other camp, Johnny Glynn will rue his sides’ finishing.

Remarkably, not one yellow card was issued in one of those rare League of Ireland occasions when the game itself took centre stage instead of poor refereeing.

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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Archive News

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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