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Sheppard leads his flock



Date Published: 03-Aug-2010

A KARL Sheppard goal after 48 minutes was enough to give Galway United a hard-earned and much-needed victory over UCD at the UCD Bowl on Friday evening.

Though UCD enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, they had a very frustrating night in front of goal, and weren’t able to prevent United securing their fourth win on the road this season.

The Students had started the game at near breakneck speed, making their intentions very clear from the word go. The first real opportunity of the game came on seven minutes when UCD centre-half Evan McMillan rose well to meet a header from Keith Ward, but Galway ‘keeper Barry Ryan was more than equal to it.

Sean Connor’s side started to get more into the game, and they conjured up an excellent chance to open the scoring after 17 minutes when former Everton prodigy Sheppard picked out Stephen O’Donnell with a delicate pass. The midfielder’s run was expertly-timed and his shot wasn’t bad either, but UCD ‘keeper Gerard Barron managed to turn it away.

This was an indication to Martin Russell’s men of the kind of danger that The Tribesmen could pose for them, and it was certainly noticeable how much last year’s First Division winners increased the tempo after this.

Ward was causing a plenty of problems for the Galway rearguard with his strong running, and he broke free from a number of challenges on 24 minutes to unleash a well-directed shot that was expertly dealt with by Ryan.

UCD would continue to create chances as the half wore on, with the influence of the returning Ciaran Kilduff starting to tell. The Kildare native went close with an effort on the turn after 30 minutes, which was deflected behind by Galway defender Jamie McKenzie, and he forced another save from Ryan six minutes later with a similar attempt.

Then, with just seven first half minutes remaining, UCD had their clearest chance of the game to that point when a thundering header from a Chris Mulhall corner came crashing off the crossbar, before going away to safety.

A good start to the second half for either side was going to vital in deciding the winner of this tie, and it was Galway who got it as Sheppard got on the end of a fine delivery from the left by Stephen Walsh to finish coolly from 10 yards with three minutes gone in the half.

To UCD’s credit, they did eventually compose themselves, and started to get back on top as the game entered the final half-hour.

The final 10 minutes proved to be a nervy affair for Galway, and UCD were going full throttle in their quest for a crucial equalising goal. Kilduff and Mulhall did go close for UCD during this period, but they simply couldn’t break down a determined and resilient United back line, while Sheppard had a couple of chances at the other end for the visitors.

For a complete match report see page 22 of this week’s Sentinel


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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