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Suspensions hit United’s date with destiny



Date Published: 06-Nov-2009

GALWAY United host Cork City in Terryland Park tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) in their final league game of the season knowing that their Premier Division survival is in their own hands.


A win will definitely see United safe from the relegation play-off spots, but a draw or even a defeat will be good enough as long as they match the result of either Sligo Rovers, who are at home to Drogheda United, or St Patrick’s Athletic, who host Shamrock Rovers.


Bray Wanderers have been relegated following their defeat to Derry City at the weekend, while Drogheda United will be in the play-off spots as a result of their defeat to St Pats. One of either United, Sligo or St Pats will join them, but United hold a one point advantage over both of those sides, meaning they are not relying on results elsewhere to secure their safety, although a draw or defeat means it may come to that.


“Cork will be desperate for points so it won’t be easy, but we can’t rely on anyone else. Pats are at home to Shamrock Rovers and they’ll be fighting for their lives, Sligo Rovers are the same. I genuinely don’t know what will be enough against Cork, but we’ll be desperately trying to win the game,” said United manager Ian Foster.


The team boss has a major problem in defence for the visit of Cork City as both first choice central defenders, Shane Guthrie and Garry Breen, are suspended. Throw in the fact Mark O’Toole is out injured while Iarflaith Davoren is struggling with a hamstring strain, then his options in defence are seriously restricted.


Sean Kelly is likely to fill one of the central defensive positions against his former club, while full-back Seamus Conneely played for the Irish U-21 in the centre of defence against Switzerland two weeks ago, so he could also provide emergency cover, and if Davoren passes a fitness test, then he and Paul Sinnott are likely to fill the full-back slots.


Foster is also sweating over the fitness of John Russell, who continues to be troubled by a ankle problem, and the club is awaiting the report of the surgeon to see how bad the damage is, and if Russell needs further surgery, and his chances of featuring tonight are slim.


At 28, Alan Murphy is now one of the veterans of the United squad, and he said that while the loss of Breen and Guthrie was a blow, he had no doubt the players who are brought into the side will do the job that is required of them.


“We are a bit of a depleted squad at the moment with suspensions and injuries, but we’ve got good character and whoever takes to the pitch will do a good job. We are a blend of youth and experience, and the way the economy is, that is what we have to do, we have to bring young players through.


“Look at Seamus Conneely, he is in his second full year and is now in the Irish U-21 squad. Paul Sinnott is another young lad and I thought he was great against Shamrock Rovers, he is a true professional, he is always available to play and will do a job for you, he is a great pro.


“Aaron Greene is another young lad, he took his goal brilliantly against Rovers but I would say he worked even harder after that goal in his defensive play. It is exciting to have such good young players, but with that comes inexperience. We have a good, young squad here, but with the economy the way it is, it will be hard to hold on to all the players for next season” he said.


He insists that nerves are not a factor ahead of the season- defining game, pointing out that instead the players have been relishing the challenge of the last few weeks. “It is exciting to play in these kind of games, we know we are in a dogfight like last season, but we enjoyed those games last year and we are enjoying our football this year as well.


United have made an impassioned plea to the people of Galway to come out and support the side tonight, and considering more than 300 made the trip to Belfield for the last game of the season last year when United were in the same position, surely it is not asking for much to have at least a couple of thousand in Terryland this evening. 


“If we can’t get a big crowd out for a game that the side needs to get something from, then shame on Galway to be honest,” said Murphy. “We’d love to get a big crowd out, and hopefully the public will get behind us,” he said. 

It certainly won’t be easy against Paul Doolin’s Cork City on Friday night, as they are in search of points themselves to guarantee European qualification, though there are serious question marks over their being allowed play in Europe next season due to the financial mess the club is in. 

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

Folk group The Unthanks make a welcome return



Date Published: 24-Jan-2013

English folk group, the Unthanks make a welcome return to Róisín Dubh on Sunday, February 24.

Their unique approach to storytelling involves using a kaleidoscope of unlikely instruments and spanning a bridge between past and present. It’s hard to conceive how music could sound so traditional and adventurous at once.

While their three albums to date have received much acclaim, the Mercury Music Prize nominated Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank have garnered most praise for their live performances. Stories of love, loss, birth, death, brawls and booze make for a rollercoaster ride through the human condition.

Rachel and Becky’s folk-club singing influences are set against otherworldly musical pictures, arranged by a band who draw inspiration from artists varying from Steve Reich to Miles Davis, Martin Hayes to Robert Wyatt, Portishead to Sufjan Stevens.

The Unthanks have fans as disparate as members of Radiohead and Portishead, Nick Hornby, Elvis Costello, Robert Wyatt, Ewan McGregor, Ryan Adams, Paul Morley, Ben Folds, Rosanne Cash and Dawn French

They have been described as “supernaturally ancient and defiantly modern, as coldly desolate as achingly intimate”. For their Galway show will play music from their new album, as well as from their previous records.

This gig is not just for committed folkies – anyone with a love for heartfelt, well-played and moving music should check them out.

Doors 9pm, tickets €20/€18.

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Archive News

January 31, 2013



Date Published: 30-Jan-2013


Shots at midnight

Further particulars regarding the shooting outrage at Castlelambert have come to light during the week. It appears that the night was remarkably bright, and that the figure of a man could be discerned a long distance off.

A police patrol was ambushed near Caulfield’s house, and saw the attacking party approach, and at the same moment several shots were discharged at the house. The police got ready to fire in an instant, and as the firing party passed out through a gateway near the house, the police discharged several shots.

One of the men was seen to fall, and when the police went in the direction where the man was supposed to have fallen, they discovered a gate post, which had received most of the volleys fired.

Owing to the incident which took place at Craughwell, they did not deem it advisable to press too hard on the retreating foe. Besides, they discovered that in a hill some distance away a number of men were concentrated, probably to cover the retreat, so the patrol had to await reinforcements before moving into the mountain.

The attack was made with great daring, and the party had a hair breadth escape.


Storm strikes

Galway felt the full brunt of the second storm within a fortnight which swept the West coast on Friday night. A strong gale accompanied by heavy rain and lightning was the first indication of the ensuing storm, which lasted into the early hours of Saturday morning.

Lashing rain swept the streets clear of pedestrians, and the wind, which at times reached a velocity of nearly a mile a minute, tore advertising slogans from outside business houses. Coupled with this, flying slates and masonry made walking positively dangerous, so that Galway around midnight assumed a ghost-like appearance.

A large tree in Newcastle-road was struck by lightning, and when falling, it hit the overhead electric cables, disconnecting many lights in the district.

Falling slates and masonry caused blackouts in Taylor’s Hill, Salthill and the docks districts. Working under appalling weather conditions, special men from the Electricity Supply Board had all the wires in the affected areas repaired inside half an hour.

The wind-swept Corrib overflowed its banks at many points, and in Mill-street, Galway, flooded the road but did not enter the houses.

Tuam strike

A strike began on the Tuam building clearance scheme on Wednesday evening. Carpenters and joiners are not affected. The cause of the dispute is the allegation made by the carters of sand that the contractors, Messrs. Bermingham and Sons, Galway, have not carried out their agreement with the men’s Union to give the drawing of fifty per cent of the sand required in the buildings to the carters, and that the contractors employed lorries which drew more than fifty per cent of the sand. The services of some of the carters were dispensed with recently and the Union appealed to the Town Commissioners to try and have the carters reinstated.

The Commissioners were sympathetic, but their efforts failed and the contractors alleged in a letter to the Board that the carters had actually drawn much more than their share. The contract is for 82 houses under a clearance order made by the Town Commissioners being built at Cloontoo and Galway roads. About forty men are affected by the strike.


For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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