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SD Galway’s poor run against Finn Harps continues



Date Published: 07-Aug-2012

 A SECOND-HALF brace from Kevin McHugh helped Finn Harps extend their unbeaten run to five games with a third win of the season over basement side SD Galway at Finn Park on Friday night.

The Harps skipper broke the deadlock on 63 minutes with a close-range effort before sealing all three points for the home side with a second from the penalty spot five minutes from time.

The visitors, who had offered a stern resistance before the first goal went in, ended the game with ten men after David Meehan’s illegal intervention that led to McHugh’s second goal saw the SD Galway man receive a straight red card.

With Aaron O’Hagan and Tommy McBride both ruled out through suspension, Harps were given a welcome boost beforehand with Tommy Bonner passing a fitness test to start in the middle of the park alongside Shaun McGowan.

SD Galway – Salthill Devon in a former guise – had failed at eight previous attempts to defeat their counterparts from Donegal and have only managed the one win all season in what has so far been a thoroughly disappointing campaign for Tony Mannion’s side.

A cagey first half yielded very little in the shape of goal-mouth action, with both goalkeepers enduring a relatively stress-free opening 45 minutes.

Harps were the more commanding but a well organised SD Galway rearguard restricted the home side from converting their territorial advantage into shots on target.

Paul McVeigh headed narrowly wide from a James Doherty cross early on, while Brian Geraghty forced a fine point-blank save out of Ciaran Gallagher, following a perfectly-weighted through ball from Ronan Conlon.

McHugh then had his first sight of goal on 20 minutes, the Harps striker heading just over the bar from a Gary Merritt cross, following a timely intervention from Tommy Bonner on Timmy Molloy.

Harps continued to control most of the first half but James Keane managed to get to the break without having to pull off a save of any real significance, although a 25-yard effort from McGowan was only inches away from finding the bottom corner.

The home team began the second half strong and James Doherty almost found the top corner with the first attack after the restart – the full-back latching onto a loose clearance by the visiting defence before rifling a thunderous volley over the woodwork.

Moments later and the hosts dissected the SD Galway defence courtesy of a cushioned through ball by McVeigh to release McHugh. The striker timed his run to perfection and although he managed to beat the onrushing Keane, full-back Eugene Greaney arrived in the nick of time to produce the timeliest of blocks.

Having threatened with a series of corners in the early stages of the second half, it was no surprise to see the deadlock broken from another of Merritt’s expertly angled dead-balls.

Paul McVeigh did well initially to win the corner and from the resulting delivery by Merritt, McHugh was perfectly placed to guide home a Thomas McMonagle flick on from close range.

Matt Harkin then went agonisingly close to adding to the goal he got against Waterford United last week with the sweetest of connections from a Merritt corner.

SD Galway responded with a brief flurry but a deflected Mike Harty shot from distance that drifted just wide of the post was the closest they came to finding an equaliser.

In fact, from that same phase of play, Harps doubled their advantage following a quick throw out by Gallagher to release McVeigh. With Harkin racing through on the overlap, the former Fanad United man opted for a lofted ball over the top to McHugh, who was prevented a clear run on goal by the outstretched hand of Meehan.

The second-half replacement received a straight red card by referee Rob Harvey before McHugh stepped up to rifle home his second of the night and ninth of the season.

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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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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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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