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Injury-hit United have no answer to lively visitors



Date Published: {J}

Galway United 1

Derry City 4

Keith Kelly at

Terryland Park

Galway United grabbed their first home goal of the season on Friday night, but that is as about the only positive to be taken from the defeat at the hands of a Derry City side that moved joint-top of the table courtesy of their comfortable victory.

Already with a skeleton squad, United suffered a major blow on Thursday when striker Joseph Yoffe damaged his ankle in training. With Alan Murphy also on the injury list, that left Sean Connor with just one fit recognised striker with League of Ireland experience, Enda Curran, who started on the bench.

When your squad is stretched to breaking point, you have to take a gamble on your younger players at some stage, and Connor had promised to ring the changes after the poor display against Drogheda United the previous week.

The United manager did make two changes for last Friday but both were enforced, with Eduardo Duci retaining his place in the side, having replaced the injured Murphy a week previously, while Yoffe’s training ground mishap saw Steve Feeney thrown in up front, leaving Curran wondering what he has to do to get a run in the team.

He has not the most prolific record, and is prone to the odd fit of temper, as seen in his clash with Victor Ekenam in Drogheda just over a week ago, but he has good strength and bags more pace than Feeney, although to be fair to the Sligoman, he did well on Friday, particularly in the air.

The defeat means United have taken just one point from their four games at Terryland Park this season, and that does not look like changing any time soon with defending league champions Shamrock Rovers the next visitors to the Dyke Road on Friday week for a game that will be televised live.

Before that, United travel to the Carlisle Grounds this Friday to take on the early-season surprise packets, Bray Wanderers, who are just a point off top spot, and if they are to take anything from their trip to the Wicklow coast, United will need to show more concentration in defence, more commitment in midfield and more potency up front.

The frustrating thing about Friday night is that United were marginally the better side for much of the first half in front of a crowd that was down more than 900 bodies on the previous home game with Sligo Rovers.

Derry brought a far smaller crowd than they traditionally do, but the main reason for the low numbers was surely the folly of there being three big games taking place with the same kick-off time, as Mervue United were hosting Limerick in the First Division, while Cardiff were the visitors to the Sportsground for Connacht’s last home game of the season.

The FAI in particular have a case to answer for scheduling two games in the city on the same night, and there is more of the same to come. United and Mervue’s next two home games will also clash, while United and Salthill Devon will have clashing games two weeks later again. Surely if the FAI were serious about supporting their clubs, something could have been done to avoid this.

Bobby Ryan took just 12 seconds to let off the first shot in anger on Friday night, dribbling forward from kick-off before shooting from 25 yards, his effort just clearing the crossbar. It looked like a statement of intent from United, one that was continued in the next five minutes by Sean Kelly, Feeney and Ryan again, who all had attempts on goal.

It took Derry a dozen or so minutes to settle, but their response to the early onslaught was impressive. James McClean – who had a cracking game – drilled a ball across the United six-yard box, which was met at the near post by Eamon Zayed. The Libyan international side-footed goalwards, but Greg Fleming got down brilliantly to claw the ball away.

McClean gave Shaun Kelly a right going-over on the night, and it was he who supplied the ammunition again in the 15th minute later, sending in another cross from the left, but Gareth McGlynn couldn’t direct his cheeky back-heel on target.

For more, read this week’s Galway 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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