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New manager to inherit club with no players



Date Published: 05-Jan-2010

THE man who served as assistant manager to Ian Foster at Galway United last season is the front-runner to replace the Liverpudlian

who walked out on the club in early December.

Tom French, who was brought to United as physio under Tony Cousins four years ago, has been installed as favourite to be named as United’s new manager in the coming weeks. French left the United set-up when Jeff Kenna was manager, but he returned under Foster last year as assistant manager and is hotly tipped to make the step-up as manager for the 2010 campaign at least.

Both French and former United player and record goal-scorer, Paul ‘Ski’ McGee, declared their interest in the vacancy in the week following Foster’s controversial departure to take over as boss at Dundalk, and while there have been stories circulating that French will get the manager’s job, with McGee coming in as his assistant, it is thought that one of the senior players from last season will be named as French’s number 2.

Barry Ryan joined United from St Patrick’s Athletic at the start of last season, and he made the goalkeeper jersey his own – he was the only player to play every minute of every game for his club in the league last season – and he is being tipped to be named as French’s assistant.

Whoever does get the job will have a major job on their hands in building a squad for what looks like an inevitable battle against relegation in the coming season. Every United player was out of contract at the end of the 2009 season, so the first task for the new manager will be to put a squad in place.

Aaron Greene, who lit up the end of the 2009 campaign with some sparkling displays and a decent haul of goals, is believed to have joined Dundee United, while John Russell is being linked with a move to Bohemian FC as replacement for Gary Deegan, who has joined Coventry City FC in the English Championship.

Foster had one year to run on his contract with United when he walked out on the club on December 4, claiming the fact he was owed money by the club allowed him to speak to Dundalk FC about the managerial job at Oriel Park, despite United refusing both him and Dundalk permission to talk.

United CEO Nick Leeson revealed the amount owed was small, and efforts were being made to pay Foster the outstanding money, and he also said he intended pursuing a compensation claim against Dundalk.

Galway United Season Tickets will remain on sale at pre-Christmas discount prices in 2010. Adult season tickets cost €150, with concession tickets on sale at €90. To avail of this offer, contact the Galway United office at (091) 767336, or Ronan Coleman at (087) 6972823. Application forms are available on-line at

The Galway United Supporters Trust (GUST) will have a season ticket stand at Elverys Sports in the Galway Retail Park on the Headford Road this coming Saturday from 11am to 5pm. Champions League Draw tickets will also be on sale, as will the full range of club merchandise.

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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