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No clear front runner for Galway manager’s role



Date Published: 27-Aug-2009

THE new Galway Senior football manager must have a passion for Gaelic Football and hard graft and must have a footballing brain and a vast depth of managerial experience, County Board officials said this week. Football delegates from all clubs throughout Galwaymet at Ionad Peile na Gaillimhe at Loughgeorge on Tuseday night to formally kick-start the process of selecting the replacement for Liam Sammon, who stepped down from the position two weeks ago.

All clubs have until 4pm next Friday, September 4 to nominate a man they think is willing – and able – to take on the task of Galway boss for the next couple of seasons. A selection committee made up of delegates and County Board officials will then whittle down the clubs’ selections to a ‘manageable number’ of realistic hopefuls.

it is understood that in addition to the clubs’ suggestions, County Board officials have already been in informal contacts with a number of high-profile former county managers, to ‘sound out’ their intentions and to see if they would be available for the job.

The shortlisted few will then be interviewed by a panel, which will select its choice and bring the name forward for ratification by club delegates, for ‘rubber-stamping’.

Discussions about whether the new manager would be offered a two year contract with the option of a third, similar to Sammon’s, and whether he will also take over the reins of the U21 side as well as senior, will only be decided when the successful candidate is offered the post.

Speaking to Tribune Sport yesterday, Galway Football Board Chairman, John Joe Holleran, said the selection process has been thrown open to candidates from within and from outside the county. Holleran said he wants to get the best person for the job and ideally wants the new manager in place by the end of October at the latest.

“My advice to clubs is to make sure to nominate a person that is knowledgeable about football and has a depth of experience of the game and someone who has a passion for football and for hard work,” he said.

No front runner has yet emerged to fill Sammon’s position although a plethora of names have been mentioned in Galway GAA circles as possible contenders for the job.

Tribune Sport understands the County Board has approached Kevin Walsh about the vacant position, but the Killanin man was already ratified earlier this summer as manager of Sligo for a second year. Walsh, whose playing career included 18 seasons with Galway footballers, has had an impressive season managing Sligo, having been promoted from Division Four of the National League before losing narrowly, after gallant efforts, to Galway and Kerry in the Championship.

Walsh has committed himself to managing the Yeats County for the 2010 season and although the contract is not ‘set in stone’, it would be unlikely the former All-ireland winner will renege on his pledge to Sligo. Walsh may still be a ‘dark horse’ for the final shakeup, but it seems increasingly probable he will bide his time and apply for the managerial position, if and when it arises again, in a few years time.

it is also believed that the former manager of the Galway side that won the 2007 Minor All-ireland, Alan Mulholland, is not seriously considering the senior manager position although it is thought he may be interested in taking over the U21 team.

The players he managed at minor level will this season be coming through at U21, which would possibly suit Mulholland although, a vacancy for U21 manager only arises if the jobs of new senior manager and U21 are separated. Although he was only seen as an outside chance to land the job, Galway’s 1998 All-ireland captain, Ray Silke, has ruled himself out.

Meanwhile, Mick O’Dwyer, who was touted as favourite early on, this week refused to rule-out the prospect of taking the Galway job. Speaking on local radio, the Kerry legend was coy about his future intentions but he did confirm that, as of yet, the Galway County Board has not been in touch with him.

O’Dwyer would not confirm to presenter Gerry Murphy on the Keith Finnegan Show on Galway Bay Fm whether he would be taking up a fourth year managing Wicklow and he kept his options open by not ruling out Galway either.

Former Roscommon and Mayo boss John Maughan, has emerged as another possible dark horse while others from outside the county – former Kerry manager Páidí Ó Sé, Dublin’s Paul Caffrey and Tommy Lyons, former Meath manager Seán Boylan, former Clare manager Frank Doherty and former Armagh manager Joe Kernan – have also been linked with the job. Contenders from within the county include Brian Talty, Val Daly, Stephen Joyce, Gerry Fahy and Eoin O’Donnellan among others.

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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