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Stirring comeback sees United grab share of the spoils



Date Published: {J}

Galway United 2

Sligo Rovers 2

Keith Kelly in

Terryland Park

GALWAY United came from two goals down to grab a share of the spoils in a cracking Connacht derby that was played in horrendous conditions in Terryland Park on Monday night.


United looked dead and buried when the visitors went 2-0 ahead in the 36th minute as the home side struggled to deal with the waves of attack crashing down on their defensive wall on a night made for the sitting room rather than the stand.

However the one thing this United side have is bags of character, and they got back into the game just two minutes after watching former team-mate John Russell double Sligo’s lead when Gary Curran fired home to reduce arrears, and Karl Sheppard popped up with a cheeky equaliser midway through the half to deny Sligo a first win in Terryland since 2007.

The United staff also possess a degree of irony, the PA belting out The Stunning’s Brewing Up A Storm as the sides took to the pitch before the game in driving wind and rain that suggested any chance of decent football was a remote one.

That is what the sparse crowd of 668 got in spades, however, as both sides defied the conditions to play some lovely football on what was a very greasy surface. There can be no argument that the visitors were the more polished outfit – Paul Cook’s crew are one of the most attractive footballing sides in the league – but United certainly contributed to what was a thrilling contest.

It was the visitors who had the benefit of the elements in the first half, and it was little surprise that the dominated the opening exchanges, although they suffered an early blow when centre back Derek Foran was forced off with a head injury in the sixth minute.

It was former United defender Alan Keane who had the first shot in anger, lashing a spectacular effort from 30 yards which caught on the wind and forced Barry Ryan to scramble across his goal and push the shot away for a corner.

United failed to properly deal with the ensuing set-piece, clearing the ball only as far as Richie Ryan, and the Sligo captain smashed a shot into the far corner on the half-volley as Ryan could only look on, which was the least a strike of such quality deserved.

United sought an immediate reply, Stephen Walsh forcing a cracking save from another former United player, Ciaran Kelly – a goalkeeper criminally overlooked during his stint here five seasons ago – but it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous, and Ryan had top be at his best to deny Romauld Boco in the 22nd minute.

Ryan won the battle between the two seven minutes later, gathering a singer of a shot from the striker at the second time of asking as Sligo continued to press for a second goal, which duly arrived in the 36th minute.

It is galling for many United fans to see John Russell in the kit of another team, moreso as it is the provincial rivals, and he showed the Terryland faithful what they are missing on Monday night. Taking possession just outside the Sligo box, he fed the ball right to Gary McCabe, who attacked down the channel.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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