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Mervue United and SD Galway target first league points



Date Published: 09-Mar-2012

 AFTER suffering narrow opening round defeats last weekend, both SD Galway FC and Mervue United will hope to pick up the first points of their Airtricity League First Division campaigns when they face Wexford Youths and Finn Harps respectively over the coming days.

This evening, SD Galway FC (or Salthill Devon to some) will host Wexford Youths in Terryland Park (7:45pm) in what should prove to be an interesting clash. For one, both SD Galway management and the players felt that they under-performed in the 2-1 defeat away to Athlone Town last Friday.

In pre-season, the side had put in a string of good performances in friendlies against Premier League of Ireland opposition, but this did not translate into their display in Lissywoollen. “We went down to Athlone with a game plan, to win obviously, and to have a cut at them, but it just didn’t happen on the night,” said captain Brian Geraghty.

“I could say the pitch was bad, but it was bad for both teams. There are no excuses. We were nil-all at half-time and the game was nicely in the balance but quite often in this league if you lose the first goal, it is hard to turn it around.

“So, we are looking at Friday evening as an opportunity to get something out of the game. Again, we were disappointing over in Athlone, after a decent pre-season, but, really, we didn’t put in a good performance last Friday and we will be hoping for a better performance against Wexford.”

That said, Wexford Youths began their First Division in high-flying fashion, registering an incredible 6-0 victory over a fancied Waterford United outfit last weekend. Thomas Elmes scored four of the goals with Aiden Keenan tallying the other two. It was an amazing turnaround in Wexford’s fortunes given they, along with Salthill Devon, were vying to avoid the ignominy of being the basement side in the First Division last season.

Meanwhile, Mervue United, who lost 1-0 at home to Longford Town last day out, travel to Finn Harps for a difficult away assignment on Saturday evening (7:45pm).

Although very disappointed to lose their first home game, manager Johnny Glynn noted that only one player who lined out in their 2011 season opener featured against Longford Town.

He highlighted that was a huge turnover in players, particularly when you consider the calibre of those who have departed Mervue, such as Rory Gaffney, John Mountney, Ger Hanley, Mike Tierney, Nicky Curran, Kevin Crehan, David O’Brien and Dan Cunningham. “They were all lads who were important to us last season,” added Glynn.

While, no more than SD Galway, it may take time to get the balance right with the class of 2012, at least Glynn can call on the services of striker Jason Molloy and former Galway United duo Alan Murphy and Stephen Walsh, all of whom missed the Longford Town defeat through suspension.

For the full preview of both match day squads see 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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